RETIRING PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa expressed no regrets in his 20 months as the steward of the estimated 190,000 strong police force and remained upbeat as he face the next challenges in his life.
Dela Rosa will be shedding his police uniform on Thursday as his three months extension in the police service expires after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56 years old last January.
The top cop will pass on the next baton to the next ranking officer National Capital Region Police Office director Oscar Albayalde, becoming the 20th PNP chief since the establishment of the PNP in 1990, during turnover rites in Camp Crame which will be attended by President Rodrigo Duterte.
During the flag ceremony in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, Albayalde thanked the National Capital Region Police Office and acknowledged that almost half of the accomplishment of the Philippine National Police came from the NCRPO.
He said those accomplishments were some of the reasons that brought him to the next higher rank.
Albayalde also thanked the command ground and key personnel of the NCRPO for handling well challenges they underwent.
“I am encouraging you to maintain the camaraderie as Team NCRPO and continue to be the show window of the PNP,” he said.
In his last press briefing in Camp Crame, Dela Rosa conveyed sadness over the high expectations by the public on him, citing he had done everything, capitalizing purely on his “heart and mind” to be able to accomplish the mandated task bestowed upon him.
“I have no regrets. I’d done everything utilizing my heart and mind. As I have said if I fell short of the expectation of the public, sorry, that’s the only thing I can do being a chief PNP who is a ‘probinsyano,’’’ the emotional Dela Rosa said.
Bato said his stewardship in the PNP had its lowest and highest points ranging from attending to the serious problems affecting the credibility and integrity of the institution blamed on the behavioral defects of some policemen particularly linked to illegal drugs and other forms of unlawful acts, which he dreamt to crush.
He specifically narrated the involvement of policemen in the killing of Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo inside Camp Crame which drove him to resign as one of the lowest points during his stint.
The harsh questioning by lawmakers on him during the Senate hearing over illegal drugs issued was the second lowest point.
“The killing of Jee Ick Joo inside Camp Crame was the most lowest (sic) point to the point of tendering my voluntary resignation and the other is when I appeared at the Senate as resource person in the defenseless stand in front of the senators battering me of (sic) harsh questions and you cannot respond until I cried,” Bato said.
On the other hand, his highest points were the astounding reaction of people in all walks of life acknowledging the PNP’s war on drugs during public appearance.
“Every time I go out in different places, people, young and old, women and men whether rich or poor, all of them are conveying heartfelt congratulatory messages of what the PNP is doing particularly on the war on drugs,” Bato said.
He described his stint as a “roller coaster” having ups and downs.