National Police chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. de la Rosa yesterday said he is ready to be jailed for not using Filipino taxpayers’ money and preferring to accept an invitation by Senator Manny Pacquiao to watch his fight against American Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas for free last week.
“Sige lang imbestigahan ako. Makulong ako dahil sa imbitasyon,” the sharpshooting nemesis of criminals said as he welcomed an Ombudsman investigation into his recent trip to the U.S. where he watched Pacquiao pummel Vargas to score a lopsided victory.
Gen. de la Rosa—who went on official leave last week to watch the Las Vegas bout maintained that what was important was that he did not use government money in his U.S. trip. “Ang importante dili tayo kurakot kwarta,” (What’s important is that I did not steal the people’s money,” he said.
The top cop had said that Senator Pacquiao – who is a very close friend -- invited him to watch his Las Vegas bout and shouldered his air fare and accommodation. He said he took a leave of absence to honor the once in a lifetime invitation and see Pacquiao fight. De la Rosa said he is a big fan and supporter of Pacquiao as both of them came from a poor family.
Pacquiao and his siblings worked hard under the guidance of their mother Dionisia until he became what he is known today -- a world-class boxer, a senator and a figure known all over the world.
De la Rosa also belonged to a poor family forced to abandon their home in Davao del Sur after the New People’s Army learned that he enrolled at the Philippine Military Academy and asked his father to tell him to leave Fort del Pilar and join the underground movement.
De la Rosa had many hardship assignments until he rose to become the country’s top cop.
Pacquiao also defended his decision to foot the bill for the PNP chief’s trip saying it is better to treat others than do illegal activities.
Many supporters of the PNP chief called as ‘hypocrites’ those questioning his ‘all-expense paid’ trip saying they are sure that many of them also traveled abroad for free courtesy of friends and even people doing business with government or private offices in the past but were not investigated.