By Hannah Torregoza
Newly-elected Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Thursday said he expects to hear a “bolder, more feisty” President Rodrigo Duterte when he delivers his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22.
Dela Rosa said it wouldn’t be good if the President fails to project a tougher leadership when he faces the public on his fourth SONA.
“I want him to be bolder than ever..feisty. dahil kung makita natin na mag-mellow down na siya, baka mapabayaan ang Pilipinas (because if people sees him mellowing down, he might neglect the country already),” Dela Rosa said in a Kapihan sa Senado.
Dela Rosa said it is imperative that the President sustains his momentum and do not lose heart.
“Hindi dapat siya mag mellow down kasi it’s a sign of weakness. Dapat palaban siya up to the last drop of his blood, up to his last breath,” he said.
The senator further said he hopes Duterte would not surrender: “Sana hindi siya panghinaan ng loob. Iyon ang aking dasal. Tuloy pa rin ang laban.”
He also junked speculations the President is sick. “Nakita niyo ba siya kung gaano siya ka jolly? Kung may sakit yan, bedridden nay an,” he pointed out.
According to Dela Rosa, he and Duterte both suffer from GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
“Alam ko talaga pareho kami ng sakit, yung GERD. Sabi niya that’s the common disease ng totoong (of a true) public servant. Kasi nakalimutan mo na kumain dahil sa trabaho (Because you sometimes forget to eat due to work),” Dela Rosa said.
The former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief further appealed to the public to help the President achieve his dreams for the country for the remainder of his term.
“We have so much hope, very high hopes sa Presidente natin pero kung hindi natin tutulungan, wala na siya magagawa (for our President but if we don’t help him, he cannot do anything more),” he said.
“Imbes na suportahan natin ma-achieve ang gusto natin na drug free magiging obstructionist tayo, lahat na lang kinukuwestyon, wala talagang mangyayari, (Instead of supporting him to achieve our aspiration to be a drug-free country, we will become obstructionists instead, always questioning. Nothing will happen),” he stressed.