Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte has chosen close friend Chief Superintendent Ronald dela Rosa as the next director of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The appointment of Dela Rosa was announced last Wednesday by Bong Go, Duterte’s executive assistant.
Dela Rosa, who is former Davao City Police Office director, will take over the top PNP post after Duterte formally assumes the presidency and upon the resignation of current PNP chief Ricardo Marquez.
Marquez said he will submit his courtesy resignation no later than July “as a matter of courtesy” to give Duterte the freehand in picking the new PNP chief.
Dela Rosa is known in Davao City as “Bato” for his determination in pursuing anti-crime operations. One of his successful key missions was the campaign against sale of illegal drugs dubbed as Oplan TukHang, with drug use dropping by 60 percent.
This time, Dela Rosa, a one-star police general, will lead the nationwide manhunt of criminals and drug dealers based on the promise of Duterte during the campaign season.
A Rappler report said Dela Rosa would overtake his upperclassmen from the Philippine Military Academy classes of 1983, 1984 in the climb to the top PNP positioon. He is set to retire in 2018, giving him less than two years to lead the 160,000-strong police force.
He also served as member of the Board of Inquiry which investigated the deadly Mamasapano encounter wherein 44 PNP Special Action Force (SAF) troopers and 17 Moro rebels were killed.
A week before the May 9 polls, dela Rosa was sacked as brigade commander of the PNP-reactionary standby support force for allegedly airing his pro-Duterte sentiments on hi Facebook account.
Senior police officials however denied that Dela
Rosa was relieved due to his endorsement of Duterte.