Outgoing PNP Chief talks about career lows and highs

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 16) — Director-General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, made his last talk as Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, before his men and the media on Monday, recalling career lows and highs in his 21-month term.

Dela Rosa will officially turn over his post to Director Oscar Albayalde, current Metro Manila police chief, on Thursday.

He said one low point led him to quit, which President Rodrigo Duterte rejected.

"Lowest point 'yung Jee Ick-joo case, 'yung pinatay dito sa loob ng kampo. Iyun ang pinaka-mababang punto na umabot hanggang sa aking voluntary resignation from this post," he said in a media briefing.

[Translation: My career's lowest point was the Jee Ick-joo case, where he was killed inside the PNP headquarters in Crame. That led me to submit my voluntary resignation from this post.]

South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo was abducted on October 18, 2017 from his home in Angeles City, Pampanga in a "tokhang for ransom" scheme allegedly perpetrated by high-ranking police officers. Investigators said Jee was strangled to death inside the National Police headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City before he was cremated at a funeral parlor owned by a former police official.

Dela Rosa also detailed the second lowest point in his job.

"Sunod na mababa, yung humaharap ka sa Senate na defenseless ka. Hindi ko kaya na kaharap mo yung mga senador na wala kang magawa kung hindi lamunin ang sama ng loob kasi resource person ka lang doon," he said.

[Translation: The second lowest point was when I appeared during a Senate hearing as a resource person. I was defenseless. I could not speak against the senators. I felt helpless and was overwhelmed because I was just a resource person there.]

He added, "Hindi mo kaya silang sagutin nang pabalagbag. Tiniis ko na lang hanggat mapa-iyak sa sama ng loob. Iyan ang lowest points in my stay as chief PNP."

[Translation: I could not answer forcefully. I just kept it all in and cried out of sheer frustration. Those were my lowest points as Chief PNP.]

Dela Rosa in September attended the Senate hearing on alleged police involvement in the killings of teenagers. An emotional dela Rosa cried foul over the "unfair" questioning of senators, implying the police have a policy to kill suspects.

On the other hand, Dela Rosa said the public appreciates his achievements.

"Ang dami kong highest points. Every time I go around, lahat sila nagpapasalamat nang taos puso sa ginagawa ng PNP lalo na sa war on drugs," he said.

[Translation: I have so many high points, such as when they thank the PNP for doing its job, especially the war on drugs.]

Dela Rosa had said he recommended Albayalde to the top PNP post to pursue the drug war and internal cleansing.

Albayalde said he will carry on the drug war.

Albayalde, meanwhile, said the public should expect movements in various PNP leadership posts as he assumes power on Thursday.

He said, with the expected retirement of some star-rank officers in the coming months, reshuffling of officers is inevitable.

He added there are also regional directors and national support unit chiefs who may be replaced based on their performance.

Albayalde refused to say who will replace him as Metro Manila Police chief.

He says the vetting process is still ongoing with names he personally recommended along with nominees coming from the national headquarters.

Albayalde hopes to announce the next Metro Manila police chief by the end of the month.