GIS EXCLUSIVE: Ret. Gen. Ronald dela Rosa eyes measures to maintain law and order if elected

Marje Pelayo   •   February 11, 2019   •   2429


Retired General Ronald dela Rosa (R) on the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Retired General Ronald dela Rosa admits that law and order remains his top priority even as a private individual.

Now that he is trying his luck in re-entering government service, the former chief of the Philippine National Police said he wants to propose measures that will maintain law and order in the country as this is one way of boosting the country’s economy and improving the lives of Filipinos.

“Mag-concentrate ako dito sa aking cup of tea, na law and order kasi alam natin, economy will follow. Pag maganda ang peace and order ng isang bansa, susunod ang investment,” Dela Rosa said in an interview with the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon on Monday (February 11).

As the former top law enforcer in the country, Dela Rosa said he is in favor of lowering the criminal age of responsibility from 15 to 12 years old. However, he suggests that the government should provide more rehabilitation facilities for juvenile delinquents.

“Magkakaroon ng foreign investment, local investors. Magi-invest sila ng pera dahil confident sila. Kung may investment, may employment. Kapag may employment, may income ang tao. Kapag may income, may makakain sa kani-kaniyang pamamahay so gaganda ang buhay ng tao pag may laman ang tiyan,” he added.

To further intensify national security, he will propose the registration of subscriber identification module (SIM) cards and regulate its distribution as a way to counter terrorism.

He also promised to campaign against loose firearms across the country.

Meanwhile, Gen. Bato said he feels sorry for the deaths caused by the government’s war on drugs under his leadership of the PNP.

Nevertheless, he feels relieved every time there are people who thank him for the reform and improvements since the launch of the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.

“May lalapit sa iyo at yayakap: ‘Sir, maraming salamat sa ginagawa ninyo. Malaki na po pagkakaiba ngayon. Noon po takot na takot kami. Ngayon hindi na po kami takot, baligtad na. Noon, nagtatago kami sa loob ng bahay, ayaw naming lumabas sa kalsada. Ngayon baligtad na, kami na nasa kalsada. Ang mga addict na ang nagtatago sa bahay dahil baka makita ng pulis,’ ” he said of the people who approach him to recognize his accomplishments.

“Very fulfilling. Napalapit ko, (ang) pulis sa taumbayan,” he concluded happily. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Dela Rosa renews call for death penalty in PH amid talks of Sanchez release

Robie de Guzman   •   August 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Thursday renewed his call for the reimposition of death penalty in the country amid talks on the possible release of convicted rapist and murderer, former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez.

Dela Rosa said the impending release of Sanchez and other inmates convicted of heinous crimes should not have been an issue now if the capital punishment was not abolished.

“Kung sa akin lang kung ganyan ka-heinous ang krimen na ginawa niya (Sanchez) dapat binitay na siya noon di ba, kung may death penalty na noon nabitay na yan… pero wala tayong magawa,” he said in a statement.

Sanchez was sentenced in 1995 to seven terms of reclusion perpetua (or 40 years of imprisonment) over the rape and murder of students Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez.

At the time of Sanchez’s conviction, the capital punishment was still in place.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) earlier said Sanchez is among the more than 11,000 other inmates who might soon be freed due to a 2013 law that increased good conduct and time allowance (GCTA) given to inmates and a Supreme court ruling last June applying this law retroactively.

Dela Rosa said the pending release of inmates, especially those who were convicted of heinous crimes, could be averted if the capital punishment is reimposed.

He further noted that existing laws should be observed.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m just on the side of the law. Andiyan yang batas (Republic Act 10592) na ‘yan, dapat respetuhin natin, sundin natin,” he added.

But Sanchez’s eligibility under the new GCTA rule has been questioned by lawmakers and other sectors due to allegations of possession of illegal drugs after a prison guard found a packet of shabu and marijuana in his jail cell. An air condition unit and a television set were also seized from his cell, which are violation of prison rules.

When asked on the validity of releasing Sanchez, Dela Rosa said the DOJ through the Board of Pardons and Parole should explain to the public with regard to the GCTA.

“Well tanungin natin yung Board of Pardons and Parole na nagre-recommend niyan at yung sa loob ng Bureau of Corrections kung paano nila na compute, ang alam ko meron yang computation, may corresponding GCTA yan kung ilan days ang mababawas sa sintensya mo,” he said.

READ: BuCor says convicted ex-Mayor Sanchez may not be eligible for release under new GCTA rule

The Bureau of Corrections earlier said that contrary to earlier reports, Sanchez may not qualify for early release from prison due to several alleged violations of prison rules.

“As far as the Bureau is concerned, dahil nahulihan talaga sa kubol niya nuong 2006, as far as we are concerned, legal ang pagkakahuli sa kaniya… that means definitely disqualified him sa good conduct time allowance,” BuCor director general Nicanor Faeldon said.

Meanwhile, Senate President Vicente Sotto III questioned whether Sanchez’s case is the best argument for the revival of death penalty.

“7 life sentences, no indemnification, hearings for parole did not inform Sarmenta family. Best argument for death penalty?” Sotto asked in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

Several lawmakers have expressed support for the return of the capital punishment, including Senators Sherwin Gatchalian, Pia Cayateno, Bong Go, Cynthia Villar, Sonny Angara and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, but only for high level drug trafficking.

While other senators, including Risa Hontiveros, Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, Leila de Lima, Ralph Recto and Joel Villanueva expressed opposition to the proposal.

The Philippines abolished the death penalty under the 1987 Constitution. President Fidel Ramos reimposed the capital punishment in 1993 as a crime control measure but President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo reinstated its abolition in 2006.

PNP denies alleged militarization of campuses

Marje Pelayo   •   August 20, 2019

Student activists at the University of the Philippines oppose the proposed presence of police and military in school campuses.

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ronald dela Rosa is suggesting that universities and colleges should welcome the military and police and allow them to conduct their respective indoctrination.

The proposal is to curb the recruitment and brainwashing of students being practiced by the rebel group, New People’s Army (NPA).

But according to Police Chief General Oscar Albayalde, such recommendation was given a different interpretation by militant youth groups.

“This is misunderstood and medyo overreaction ang mga militanteng grupo. There is no such thing as militarization of a campus,” Albayalde said.

Albayalde insists that cops do not enter the school premises unless they have official business inside as stated in the agreement between the University of the Philippines, the League of Filipino Students (LFS) and the government specifically the Department of National Defense that police and military personnel are off limits inside campuses unless approved by the university administration.

“Itong mga militanteng grupo, they are trying to abuse that charter. Kami naman, we can freely enter the campus of UP even today,” the Police Chief noted.

Meanwhile, the PNP respects U.P. students’ decision to hold a day of walkout on Tuesday (August 20) citing their right to assembly provided that it is in accordance with the law. – MNP (with details from April Cenedoza)

Mothers of minors allegedly recruited by leftist groups turn emotional at Senate hearing

Robie de Guzman   •   August 7, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Several mothers of missing students who were allegedly recruited by leftist groups turned emotional when they testified and narrated their ordeal before a Senate panel on Wednesday.

Among them were Luisa Espina, Gemma Labsan, Relissa Lucena and Jovita Antoniano who recounted the pain of being abandoned by their children and the changes they saw in them since joining leftist groups like Anakbayan.

According to Espina, her 17-year old daughter, a student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), started not going home when she joined an organization in their school.

They later found out she became a member of the Anakbayan.

“Magmula noong napasok siya diyan sa Anakbayan na yan, nagulo ang utak niya, masyadong magagalitin, kapag dinebate mo siya sa pulitika galit agad siya, kaya di na kami nanunuod ng news sa TV,” she said during a hearing held by the Senate Committee on Public Order & Dangerous Drugs.

Labsan’s 16-year old daughter, a student at the far Eastern University, also left their home when she got recruited to a left-leaning group. She said they found out about it when they saw files about armed conflict and communism on her mobile phone.

“Kinuha ng papa niya ang cellphone niya, nakita po mga files, mga armadong pakikibaka, komunismo po. Nagalit na po kami, nakita ko po dun sa libro duon nakalagay Struggle of Democracy by Joma Sison,” she recounted.

Lucena narrated the same account, saying her daughter left their home after becoming an officer of a leftist organization.

When she did not come home for three days, they reported it to authorities. When her daughter returned home and found out that she went to the police and her school, she even got mad at her mother.

“Sabi niya sa akin full-time na siya siya sa Anakbayan, tapos nung nalaman niya na nagsumbong ako sa PNP at saka sa school, ang sabi po niya sa akin, kalaban na daw po ako,” Lucena said.

“Isipin ko daw na wala na akong anak,” she added.

She said she had tried to get her daughter back home but her efforts were unsuccessful.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it has taken up measures to address the leftist groups’ alleged recruitment of minors in schools, including visitation of campuses every now and then.

It also eyes monitoring teachers who are allegedly requiring students to attend protests in streets.

However, the PUP administration expressed apprehension on issuing a formal order on police visitation in campus.

“Ina-assert po minsan ng faculty o kaya ng ilang estudyante ‘yung mga aktibista na rin na meron silang academic freedom,” PUP president Emmanual de Guzman said during the hearing.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), for its part, advised parents to take note of any sudden changes in their children’s behavior and actively monitor their movements in school, whereabouts, and the organizations they are taking part in.

AFP deputy chief of staff for Civil Military Operations MGen. Antonio Parlade also shared some indicators that parents may take note if their children are being recruited to left-leaning groups.

“Marami na silang alibi, marami silang paalam, pupunta kung saan, may field trip duon, sometimes, often these are not sanctioned by school and then organization namin merong pupuntahan. Ito na yung indicators na nagi-immerse na sila, and this immersion, they really meet the armed NPA’s (New People’s Army)” he said.

Based on data from the AFP, at least 513 students have been recruited as combatants by the NPA from 1999 to 2019.

Senator Ronald dela Rosa, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Order & Dangerous Drugs, said this report is especially alarming because communist terrorists are recruiting minors as their fighters.

“Alarming in the sense na mga menor de edad ito na dapat nag-aaral. Bakit nasa kalsada? Nabi-brain wash, pinopoison ang utak nitong mga makakaliwa para lumaban sa gobyerno,” he said.

The lawmaker previously cited a statement by the Department of the Interior and Local Government on the Communist Party of the Philippines’ activities to “poison the minds of the children to take up arms against the government,” and teaching them to “join rallies calling for the overthrow of government.”

READ: DILG to Reds: Spare the youth from lies, deception

Dela Rosa said they will give Anakbayan and other left-leaning groups tagged in the recruitment of minors the chance to explain their side on the issue in the next hearing.

He also said that the PNP is now preparing the charges to be filed against the alleged recruiters. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

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