FORMER Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald Dela Rosa filed on Friday, October 12, his certificate of candidacy (COC) for the 2019 senatorial race.
Dela Rosa was accompanied by his wife Nancy and some of his supporters at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main office in Intramuros, Manila.
He will be running under President Rodrigo Duterte's party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Dela Rosa was welcomed by his supporters who gathered outside the Palacio del Gobernador and also by the booing of some members of activist groups, including the women's group, Gabriela.
But he said Friday that he found it normal that some people would not agree to his decisions.
"Normal yan. You cannot satisfy everyone. Nasa law enforcement ako, meron talagang masasagasaan, kaya you have to take sides, dito ka ba sa good o sa bad, so you have to take sides," he said.
(That's normal. I'm a law enforcer, so someone will be hurt and you have to take sides.)
"Okay lang yan wag kayong bumoto sa akin, alam ko marami pa rin boboto sa akin. Maraming natutuwa sa ginagawa namin sa war on drugs," he added.
(I'm fine if you don't vote for me because I know there will be a lot of people who will vote for me. Many people are happy for what we have done in the government's war on drugs.)
Dela Rosa, as PNP chief from July 2016 to April 2018, spearheaded the government's crackdown on illegal drugs that gained criticisms due to the high number of alleged illegal drugs personalities killed in police operations.
He was appointed as director general of the Bureau of Corrections after his stint at the PNP, but he was deemed "resigned from post" following the filing of COC Friday.
Dela Rosa said despite the alleged irregularities in the police operations that put the war on drugs in hot water, his "edge" against any other candidates is that he has proven that he is a "clean" public servant.
"Wala akong maipagmayabang kundi ang akin lang malinis na background bilang isang pulis. Sabi ko nga palagi, pag nalaman n'yo ako na ako ay isang sindikatong pulis, abusadong pulis, akoy masamang pulis, then please huwag ninyo akong iboto," he said.
(I have nothing to boast of by my clean records as a policeman. As I've said, if you will find out that I belong to a syndicate, an abusive policeman, then please, don't vote for me.)
He said the importance of having a former law enforcer at the Senate is there will be someone who can ensure the safety and security and peace and order.
"Sa part ko naman lately sa Bucor, 'yung mga corrections mapangalagaan ko at maimprove ko dahil alam ko very much neglected ang mga agency na yan 'yung Bucor, so kailangan nating maimprove yan through legislation," he said.
(As a Bucor chief, I can take care and improve the agency, because it's a neglected office and it needs to be improved through legislation.)
"Magdagdag tayo ng buildings lang naman, when we say kulang 'yung building lang kasi marami naman nakatiwangwang na malalaking lupa outside Bilibid pwede magpagawa doon ng additional prison facilities," he added.
(We will add more buildings because there are unused lots outside the Bilibid Prison. We can turn them into prison facilities.)
He also vowed Friday, October 12, to push for the revival of the death penalty in case he wins in the senatorial race next year], saying it is needed in addressing heinous crimes and other drug-related cases.
"My focus will be on law enforcement, safety and security, and corrections," he said.
Asked what pushed him to run for senator, Dela Rosa cited the directive of Duterte.
"I got the instructions of the President. He told me to run for senator," he said.
He also stressed that his decision to run is due to his continued desire to serve the public.
"I am still young and I know that I have a lot more to offer the people," he added. (With HDT/SunStar Philippines)