‘Bato’ declares war vs Bilibid narco-inmates

Published April 7, 2018, 1:27 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Martin Sadongdong

A strong message was sent by outgoing Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa to inmates at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) who continue to engage in illegal drug activities: Let’s go to war.

PNP Chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa (Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa (Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Set to be the next director of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) after finishing his stint at PNP less than two weeks from now, Dela Rosa noted that he would request for a short break first to replenish his strength before going back to work.

“I will account all of them [Bilibid drug lords]. Let us put them in one cell and monitor them. I’ll stop their operations and I will try to end the illegal drug trade there,” he said.

“But I will take a vacation first. I will ask the President to allow me to rest for a bit. After that, I’m ready to work hard again,” he added.

The 56-year-old General said the drug lords inside the national penitentiary must have been “very afraid” that it sent their knees trembling after they heard he’s already coming to go after them.

He vowed to make the inmates’ lives “miserable” for those who continue to engage in the notorious drug trade.

President Duterte announced late last year that he would assign Dela Rosa to head the BuCor to effect reforms at the national penitentiary, just like what he did to the 190,000-strong police organization.

Dela Rosa will be replaced by current National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Oscar Albayalde in a change of command ceremony set on April 18.

Dela Rosa told Albayalde to “continue the fight” and programs of the PNP including the war on drugs and internal cleansing within the ranks.

Relatedly, Duterte’s first order to Albayalde as would-be PNP chief is to expand the jails so that they could put in more criminals behind bars, even joking to starve them to death to clear some space.