GIS EXCLUSIVE: Ret. Gen. Ronald dela Rosa eyes measures to maintain law and order if elected

Marje Pelayo   •   February 11, 2019   •   2419


Retired General Ronald dela Rosa (R) on the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Retired General Ronald dela Rosa admits that law and order remains his top priority even as a private individual.

Now that he is trying his luck in re-entering government service, the former chief of the Philippine National Police said he wants to propose measures that will maintain law and order in the country as this is one way of boosting the country’s economy and improving the lives of Filipinos.

“Mag-concentrate ako dito sa aking cup of tea, na law and order kasi alam natin, economy will follow. Pag maganda ang peace and order ng isang bansa, susunod ang investment,” Dela Rosa said in an interview with the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon on Monday (February 11).

As the former top law enforcer in the country, Dela Rosa said he is in favor of lowering the criminal age of responsibility from 15 to 12 years old. However, he suggests that the government should provide more rehabilitation facilities for juvenile delinquents.

“Magkakaroon ng foreign investment, local investors. Magi-invest sila ng pera dahil confident sila. Kung may investment, may employment. Kapag may employment, may income ang tao. Kapag may income, may makakain sa kani-kaniyang pamamahay so gaganda ang buhay ng tao pag may laman ang tiyan,” he added.

To further intensify national security, he will propose the registration of subscriber identification module (SIM) cards and regulate its distribution as a way to counter terrorism.

He also promised to campaign against loose firearms across the country.

Meanwhile, Gen. Bato said he feels sorry for the deaths caused by the government’s war on drugs under his leadership of the PNP.

Nevertheless, he feels relieved every time there are people who thank him for the reform and improvements since the launch of the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.

“May lalapit sa iyo at yayakap: ‘Sir, maraming salamat sa ginagawa ninyo. Malaki na po pagkakaiba ngayon. Noon po takot na takot kami. Ngayon hindi na po kami takot, baligtad na. Noon, nagtatago kami sa loob ng bahay, ayaw naming lumabas sa kalsada. Ngayon baligtad na, kami na nasa kalsada. Ang mga addict na ang nagtatago sa bahay dahil baka makita ng pulis,’ ” he said of the people who approach him to recognize his accomplishments.

“Very fulfilling. Napalapit ko, (ang) pulis sa taumbayan,” he concluded happily. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Mothers of minors allegedly recruited by leftist groups turn emotional at Senate hearing

Robie de Guzman   •   August 7, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Several mothers of missing students who were allegedly recruited by leftist groups turned emotional when they testified and narrated their ordeal before a Senate panel on Wednesday.

Among them were Luisa Espina, Gemma Labsan, Relissa Lucena and Jovita Antoniano who recounted the pain of being abandoned by their children and the changes they saw in them since joining leftist groups like Anakbayan.

According to Espina, her 17-year old daughter, a student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), started not going home when she joined an organization in their school.

They later found out she became a member of the Anakbayan.

“Magmula noong napasok siya diyan sa Anakbayan na yan, nagulo ang utak niya, masyadong magagalitin, kapag dinebate mo siya sa pulitika galit agad siya, kaya di na kami nanunuod ng news sa TV,” she said during a hearing held by the Senate Committee on Public Order & Dangerous Drugs.

Labsan’s 16-year old daughter, a student at the far Eastern University, also left their home when she got recruited to a left-leaning group. She said they found out about it when they saw files about armed conflict and communism on her mobile phone.

“Kinuha ng papa niya ang cellphone niya, nakita po mga files, mga armadong pakikibaka, komunismo po. Nagalit na po kami, nakita ko po dun sa libro duon nakalagay Struggle of Democracy by Joma Sison,” she recounted.

Lucena narrated the same account, saying her daughter left their home after becoming an officer of a leftist organization.

When she did not come home for three days, they reported it to authorities. When her daughter returned home and found out that she went to the police and her school, she even got mad at her mother.

“Sabi niya sa akin full-time na siya siya sa Anakbayan, tapos nung nalaman niya na nagsumbong ako sa PNP at saka sa school, ang sabi po niya sa akin, kalaban na daw po ako,” Lucena said.

“Isipin ko daw na wala na akong anak,” she added.

She said she had tried to get her daughter back home but her efforts were unsuccessful.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it has taken up measures to address the leftist groups’ alleged recruitment of minors in schools, including visitation of campuses every now and then.

It also eyes monitoring teachers who are allegedly requiring students to attend protests in streets.

However, the PUP administration expressed apprehension on issuing a formal order on police visitation in campus.

“Ina-assert po minsan ng faculty o kaya ng ilang estudyante ‘yung mga aktibista na rin na meron silang academic freedom,” PUP president Emmanual de Guzman said during the hearing.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), for its part, advised parents to take note of any sudden changes in their children’s behavior and actively monitor their movements in school, whereabouts, and the organizations they are taking part in.

AFP deputy chief of staff for Civil Military Operations MGen. Antonio Parlade also shared some indicators that parents may take note if their children are being recruited to left-leaning groups.

“Marami na silang alibi, marami silang paalam, pupunta kung saan, may field trip duon, sometimes, often these are not sanctioned by school and then organization namin merong pupuntahan. Ito na yung indicators na nagi-immerse na sila, and this immersion, they really meet the armed NPA’s (New People’s Army)” he said.

Based on data from the AFP, at least 513 students have been recruited as combatants by the NPA from 1999 to 2019.

Senator Ronald dela Rosa, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Order & Dangerous Drugs, said this report is especially alarming because communist terrorists are recruiting minors as their fighters.

“Alarming in the sense na mga menor de edad ito na dapat nag-aaral. Bakit nasa kalsada? Nabi-brain wash, pinopoison ang utak nitong mga makakaliwa para lumaban sa gobyerno,” he said.

The lawmaker previously cited a statement by the Department of the Interior and Local Government on the Communist Party of the Philippines’ activities to “poison the minds of the children to take up arms against the government,” and teaching them to “join rallies calling for the overthrow of government.”

READ: DILG to Reds: Spare the youth from lies, deception

Dela Rosa said they will give Anakbayan and other left-leaning groups tagged in the recruitment of minors the chance to explain their side on the issue in the next hearing.

He also said that the PNP is now preparing the charges to be filed against the alleged recruiters. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

Duterte mulls over arming firefighters

Robie de Guzman   •   August 2, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is mulling over arming firefighters to help maintain law and order in the country.

Duterte said this in a speech during an event of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on Thursday night.

He said the BFP personnel should not limit themselves to fire prevention and instead assist in ensuring security because the police and military cannot cover all areas.

“You know, you have to help in the law and order. You are not limited to just fire,” he said. “You have to go around and help the policeman and the military. Isang senyas lang naman kayo, magkaalaman na kayo eh.”

The president raised the issue of security Thursday following reports of violence in some parts of the country, particularly in Negros.

He said killings in Negros Oriental have gone unabated.

“At lahat ng halos na barangay captain nasa atin… ‘yun ‘yung legal natin eh, namamatay,” he said. “So itong NPA…nagwa-warning ako. This cannot go on. So sabi ko sa inyo, pa-issue-han ko man kayo ng baril…kayong mga bumbero.”

The chief executive advised firefighters to stay vigilant and to not display their weapons because enemies of the state will try to kill them and steal their guns.

Apart from proposing firefighters to bear arms, Duterte also disclosed his plan of deploying a unit that will target communist rebels.

During his speech, the president also lauded the firefighters’ commitment to duty even if “it places lives at risk,” saying this “truly inspires all of us, especially those who are in the field of public service.”

He also vowed to upgrade the capability of the BFP by producing more fire trucks and providing more training.

The country’s cities already have fire stations, while 80 percent of almost 1,500 municipalities nationwide have established their own fire stations. Also, 1,489 municipalities in the Philippines have already modernized their firefighting capabilities and only 305 municipalities need upgrades.

“I assure you that this administration will continue to pursue programs and other initiatives that will enhance your professional and operational capabilities,” President Duterte said during the BFP’s 28th founding anniversary held at the Philippine International Convention Center.

The chief executive also advised the BFP to forge more partnerships with local government units, noting the civilian nature of the bureau.

Dela Rosa eyes probe on leftist groups’ recruitment of minors

Robie de Guzman   •   July 30, 2019

Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa has filed a resolution seeking to conduct a thorough investigation into the cases of minors who went missing after they were allegedly recruited as members and fighters of leftist groups.

Dela Rosa said he filed on Monday the Senate Resolution No. 38 which sought an inquiry into the issue by the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, which he chairs; and the Committee on National Security.

“We really wanted to know the real score behind this issue. An investigation on this case could ferret out the truth, and in the end, we could also recommend actions that will ensure the peace in the country as well as protect and preserve the welfare of our children,” Dela Rosa said.

The neophyte senator said that on July 23, he was visited by some parents of the alleged victims to relay their predicament. The parents said the alleged recruitment has purportedly induced their children, who were all minors, “to leave and abandon their homes permanently.”

Dela Rosa said the parents even reported incidents of alleged “indoctrination and recruitment of their missing children by members of the left-leaning organizations.”

The former chief of Philippine National Police said one parent even claimed to have seen his 16-year old daughter joining a political rally in Quezon City nearly a week after she left for a “leadership training” without their consent.

Another parent claimed that his child was convinced to leave their home for three days to attend a seminar in a state university. The mother reportedly failed to locate her child after learning that the said seminar did not exist.

“There was an alarming report that communist terrorists are recruiting minors as their fighters as young as 10 years old,” Dela Rosa said.

“Same news report also claimed that the communist group has been doing this for decades but their recruitment efforts were intensified now because their armed group have been depleted due to frequent clash with government troops,” he added.

The lawmaker cited a recent statement by the Department of the Interior and Local Government on the Communist Party of the Philippines’ activities to “poison the minds of the children to take up arms against the government,” and teaching them to “join rallies calling for the overthrow of government.”

READ: DILG to Reds: Spare the youth from lies, deception

In an effort to protect the interest and welfare of the children, Dela Rosa underscored the need for urgent investigation into the disturbing reports of the alleged recruitment of minors as rebel fighters.

The senator also noted that the said allegations would be detrimental to government’s efforts in achieving lasting peace in the country.

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