Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa called the critics of the war on drugs “ingrates” but lawmakers and netizens disagree.
Dela Rosa told reporters that those who criticized the PNP’s campaign against illegal drugs are ingrates for slamming the campaign instead of thanking them for the peace and order that they are enjoying.
“You can criticize us to the high heavens but I can tell you straight sa inyong mga mata, ‘yung mga critics sabihan ko kayo, ingrato kayo. Alam kong nakikinabang kayo sa peace and order na idinulot sa ating war on drugs,” Dela Rosa said to reporters on October 3.
This was his response when asked to comment on the criticisms against the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
“Prangka lang ako: ingrato kayo. Sige lang, you can criticize us, wala akong problema….Ako naman, bebuwelta ako sa inyo: ingrato ka, mga anak mo sarap pumapasok sa eskuwelahan na walang kaba, walang takot dahil bihira na ‘yung krimen sa kalsada dahil sa war on drugs, tapos ngayon tinitira ‘nyo kami,” he added.
The PNP’s bloody campaign has sparked public outrage as it continues to be hounded by issues involving suspicious killings, with some recent incidents involving minors that led to the sacking of the entire Caloocan City police force.
Dela Rosa’s claim on the reduced crimes in the country is supported by data as all crimes, except killings, went down after the first year of Duterte’s administration.
“Alam ko, deep inside your heart nakikinabang ka sa ginagawa naming war on drugs,” dela Rosa continued.
Reacting to dela Rosa’s outburst, Senator Ping Lacson, a former PNP chief, said he understood dela Rosa’s frustrations.
“I can feel his frustrations in the midst of the Kian, Carl and Kulot controversies confronting the PNP. I may not be supportive of such outbursts coming from the country’s top law enforcer but I’m willing to extend some allowance and understanding of such reaction to the PNP critics,” Lacson said.
Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano slammed dela Rosa and reminded him what public service is all about.
“Walang utang na loob ang taumbayan sa kanya. Trabaho niya ‘yan. Bakit mo sisingilin ang lahat sa kanyang serbisyo? Kaya nga kapag nandito ka sa gobyerno, thankless job ito. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” Alejano said in a press conference.
“But at the end of the day, you will perform your mandate. You are not doing it para ikaw ay sumikat or sisingilin mo sila sa utang na loob nila pagdating nila balang-araw. Trabaho mo ‘yan,” he added.
Alejano noted that as the PNP chief, he is expected to deliver his duty to keep the peace and order in the country.
“Walang sisingilin diyan sa pagtatrabaho dahil inaasahan kang gawin mo ‘yan kahit na hindi mo singilin sila sa utang na loob na ‘yan. Walang ingratong Pilipino dahil silang lahat ay nagmamay-ari ng gobyerno at kaming lahat sa gobyerno ay nandito para serbisyuhan sila, hindi para singilin sila,” Alejano said.
“Kaya dapat ang lahat ng public officials ay nagsisilbi sa ordinaryong mamamayan, hindi ‘yung sinisingil natin sila sa ating serbisyo,” he added.
Senator Franklin Drilon said dela Rosa was paid to do his job as the top cop.
“I would rather be an ingrate and save lives from being lost because of impunity, the culture of impunity of our PNP,” Drilon said.
“He is paid by the taxpayers to do his job and we always, we support the war on drugs, but not the extrajudicial killings. No question, we support the war on drugs but huwag naman sa ganitong paraan,” he added.
Akbayan party-list Tom Villarin said dela Rosa’s attitude towards critics who are looking for justice for those killed in the war on drugs and branding them as ingrates is “out of this world.”
“Kung ang tingin ni General Dela Rosa ‘yan ang pagiging ingrato, ‘yung paghabol sa katarungan, paghabol doon sa mga patayan na nangyari doon sa war against drugs, then nasa ibang planeta pala yung kanyang pananawa, dahil ito po, para sa atin, ay talagang talamak na itong war against drugs at sinasabi pa ni General Dela Rosa na meron tayong peace and order,” Villarin said.
“Kung ‘yung tinutukoy niya na ingrato’ yung kritiko niya, I think later he will be asked, siguro through the proper courts, na mapanagutan itong mga namatay sa war on drugs,” the lawmaker added.
Muntinlupa Rep. Tom Villarin remarked on Twitter that public servants ought to do their job, regardless of the level of appreciation that they would receive from it.
“Public servants have no right to call critics “inggrato”. Service is a duty, whether you’re appreciated or not,” he said.
Public servants have no right to call critics “inggrato”. Service is a duty, whether you’re appreciated or not.
— Ruffy Biazon (@ruffybiazon) October 3, 2017
Journalist Inday Espina-Varona also reacted to dela Rosa’s remarks.
“INGRATO?! 12,000 dead, many poor, including those who tried to #change. And you want people to fall on their knees in thanks?! #FightTyranny,” she tweeted.
— inday espina varona (@indayevarona) October 3, 2017
Former Bayan Muna representative Teddy Casiño said, “I think it’s time to give Bato a wig. Parang si Aguirre na rin kasi kung magsalita. #Ingrato.”
I think it’s time to give Bato a wig. Parang si Aguirre na rin kasi kung magsalita. #Ingrato
— Teddy Casiño (@teddycasino) October 3, 2017
Here are some of the reactions from the netizens:
Ingrato? You remind me of this guy: pic.twitter.com/RVsXCrBoZZ
— Javier Gris (@JavierGris156) October 3, 2017
Philippine National Police Chief Bato Dela Rosa on government “War on Drugs” critics: “Ingrato kayo” pic.twitter.com/sXoaQDEIEt
— Shady Music PH (@ShadyMusicPH) October 3, 2017