POLICE General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa to enter politics?
“Why not?” said two lawmakers from the House of Representatives?
House leaders Robert Ace Barbers and Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe said with Dela Rosa’s popularity and leadership style he can run for any government position.
Dela Rosa was designated as Director General of the Philippine National Police by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Like Duterte, Dela Rosa or popularly known as “Bato,” is getting more popular because of the strong campaign and determination to curb illegal drugs.
“If the elections were held today, he’d (Dela Rosa) be a shoo-in,” said Barbers, chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs.
Dela Rosa was asked by reporters during the Manila Overseas Press Club Forum on his plans following his retirement in 2018.
The four-star general was quoted as saying that he’s “open” to run for a Senate seat.
Barbers, a fellow Mindanaoan, said Dela Rosa has the qualifications, experience, and education.
“He’s a good fit for the Senate, we need more people like him there,” Barbers added.
The police officer, often called a “rock star” for his penchant for TV appearances and overall magnetic personality, is set to retire from his post January 2018.
“If that’s one of his aspirations after retiring then so be it. I’m sure he’ll be able to prove himself (worthy),” Barbers added.
Asked if Dela Rosa was making a mistake by baring his intentions too early, the Surigao del Norte solon said everybody can be vulnerable to criticism.
“As long as he doesn’t get involved in controversy, he’ll be fine,” Barbers said.
According to Batocabe, Dela Rosa’s “early announcement” deserves praise.
“He should be even commended for his frank, candid and honest revelation of his intentions. With that, he has up the ante or standard of his performance as people will look at him from a glass mirror perspective,” Batocabe said.
But for opposition Rep. Teddy Baguilat, Dela Rosa’s chances of winning an elective post will ultimately depend on how the public views the fight against drugs.
Report said since Duterte assumed the presidency last June 30, an estimated 3,000 people have been slain all over the country.
“His bankability as a candidate depends on how people perceive the way he ran the anti-drug war.
“If the electorate feels strongly for due process and rule of law and they think EJKs [extra-judicial killings] are an anomaly in a Christian society, then Bato faces an uphill fight for a career after his police chief tenure,” Baguilat said.