FULL of gratitude, outgoing Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” M. dela Rosa yesterday thanked all officers and men of the 175,000-strong police force for the all-out support they gave him during the 21 months he was the country’s top cop leading a massive war on drugs, criminality and corruption.
“From the bottom of my heart, maraming salamat sa inyong tulong habang ako’y inyong Chief PNP. Maraming, maraming salamat po,” said the PNP chief when he presided over his last flag-raising ceremony as head of the PNP.
On Thursday, he will turn over the reins of the PNP to his classmate from Philippine Military Academy ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986, outgoing National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Oscar D. Albayalde.
Before that, he also particularly gave credit to an officer of the PNP Chaplain Service, Superintendent Ebra Moxsir, the president of the Imam Council of the Philippines who was designated as Marawi City Police Station chief at the height of the infamous Marawi City siege last year.
“He (Moxsir) delivered well as Marawi City police chief,” the retiring PNP chief said after Moxsir offered the prayers after the national anthem was sung.
Gen. Dela Rosa said he was humbled by the support he received from his men and called on them to give the same support to a very worthy successor in the person of Albayalde.
“I am not here to brag about my accomplishments but to thank all of you,” he said as he bared that his proudest achievement was standing by the organization and not giving up to political pressure since he assumed his post in July 2016.
He was supposed to retire at the age of 56 last January 21 but President Duterte gave him a 3-month extension which was supposed to end this coming April 21 and another supposed to be indefinite extension.
He, however, said that his “extension for indefinite term” will not push through.” “Months before my retirement I was very excited dahil gusto ko na mag-enjoy sa retirement nangyari, na-extend tayo for three months. May extension ulit for indefinite term... nagbago yung takbo ng panahon so yung second extension hindi na natuloy so I have to retire,” he said in an emotional speech.
“Nandito ako ngayon sa harapan ninyo not to brag what about what I have done or what I failed to do. Nandito lang ako sa harap ninyo ngayon bilang inyong ama ng Philippine National Police para magbigay lang ng pasasalamat, iyong taos-pusong pasasalamat ko sa inyong ginawa during my term,” he said.
The 4-star police general admitted that he suddenly wanted time to slow down as he nears his retirement.
“Nung mahaba excited na ako gusto ko mabilis iyong araw. Ngayon I’m counting the days. Habang palapit nang palapit ang aking retirement gusto ko bumagal nang bumagal ang panahon,” he said.
“Ganon pala ang feeling non if you really love your job, if you really love your job pakiramdam mo gusto mo forever eh. Kaya sabi ko sa aking mga aide-de-camp kahit saan tayo magpunta mag-uuniporme na ako dahil ganon ko kamahal ang uniform natin,” he added.
Dela Rosa also apologized if he was not able to meet their expectations.
“Kung ako man ay naging mabuti o masamang ama ng organization I don’t have to brag about it kayo na ang humusga. Kung merong pagkukulang pasensya na kayo ‘yun lang ang inabot ng aking kakayanan,” he said.
“Kung hindi ko inabot iyong level ng expecation ninyo I am very sorry ‘yun lang talaga ang nakaya ng isang chief PNP na probinsyano. Uulit-ulitin ko man, I’m very proud to be your chief PNP,” he added.
He also thanked the police personnel for handling demoralizing criticisms well. “Salamat sa inyong magaan na pagha-handle ng criticism, although nade-demoralize kayo... It’s part of the job,” he said.
According to the official, he was able to handle political pressure.
“For the frst time sa history ng PNP ngayon ko lang naprove na ang PNP, napakita ko na ang PNP ay hindi kaya i-bully ng mga traditional politicians and influential groups into submitting to their will and influence. I stood up for the PNP,” he said.
“Usual na ginagawa ng politiko ilagay mo si ganito ganyan sa whatever position na gusto nila for their own self interest kumbaga tinabla ko sila,” he added.
“I’m very proud to say that magalit man sila o hindi basta ginawa ko ito dahil gusto ko tatakbo iyong ating organisasyon according to our own standards. Hindi ako bumigay sa pressure, bakit? You know why? Dahil meron tayong Presidente na fully supportive sa ating efforts,” he stressed.