'Bato' to Albayalde amid criticisms: 'You're doing good'

 By Martin Sadongdong

Amid criticisms on the intensified "anti-tambay" drive, Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa on Monday offered a few words of encouragement to Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde.

PNP Chief Director Ronald Bato Dela Rosa along with NCRPO Chief Oscar Albayalde (R) (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) Ronald Bato Dela Rosa along with Oscar Albayalde (R)

"You are doing good," said Dela Rosa to Albayalde.

Dela Rosa returned to Camp Crame for the first time on Monday since stepping down as its director general last April to serve as guest of honor in the first founding anniversary of the PNP's Drug Enforcement Group (DEG).

The former PNP chief said Albayalde must not mind the criticisms as long as what he is doing is within the bounds of the law.

"Kahit na may order from Malacañang o wala, kung ang ipinapatupad ng PNP ay implementation of city ordinances, wala naman siyang problema (Even if there is an order from Malacañang or none, if what the PNP is implementing are city ordinances, there is no problem)," Dela Rosa told reporters.

Dela Rosa also explained that the campaign does not target street idlers or tambays per se, but those who violate local ordinances.

"Hindi specifically nakatutok sa tambay. Bakit kapag tambay may kasalanan ka na? Kahit hindi ka tambay kung nagviolate ka ng city ordinance you have to be arrested (It does not specifically target street idlers. Does it mean that if someone is a tambay he/she already has an offense? Even if you are not a tambay, if you violate a city ordinance you have to be arrested)," Dela Rosa said.

In fact, Dela Rosa bared that even in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), he is implementing a "military-style" practice for inmates that looks like the "anti-tambay" campaign of the PNP.

'No loitering' in Bilibid

He said he prevents inmates from loitering around their cells especially at night by implementing a curfew.

"Ang ginagawa ko 10 p.m. lights off na. Tulog sila lahat, walang galaan. Kapag may tumayo dyan, paluin ng gwardya ko 'yan (What I do is that I turn the lights off by 10 p.m. They all sleep, no one loiters. If someone goes up, my guard will hit them)," Dela Rosa shared.

He said the inmates are then "forced" to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to do stretching and exercises.

This routine, Dela Rosa bared, is to prevent drug lords in conducting their illegal activities which is usually being done at night.