'Bato' prefers local politics over Senate

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 19) — If Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa were to enter politics, he won't begin with a Senate seat, he said Friday.

"Siguro kung sasali ako ng pulitika, baka tatakbo akong barangay kapitan doon sa aming Barangay Bato, Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur," Dela Rosa told CNN Philippines' The Source.

"Mas gusto ko yung local siguro. Mas direkta yung tulong mo, tsaka yung serbisyo mo doon sa kababayan mo," he added.

[Translation: If I join politics, I might run as barangay captain in Barangay Bato, Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur... I think I prefer (going) local. Your help is more direct, and so is the service you give to your fellow citizens.]

However, the police chief said he was open-minded — but he wanted to focus on his work first.

"Sa totoo lang, open ako sa lahat — sa ngayon, hindi ko iniisip iyan. Focus muna ako doon sa three month extension. After this, mag-(Bureau of Corrections) pa ako," he said.

[The truth is I'm open to everything — (but) for now, I'm not thinking of that. I'm focusing on my three month extension. After this, I'll still go to (the Bureau of Corrections).]

Dela Rosa will serve an extended term as PNP Chief until April, after which he will take on a new assignment as Bureau of Corrections Chief. He was set to retire on Jan. 21.

Related: 'Bato' orders reshuffling of SAF in Bilibid Prison

The police chief ranked among the top 20 senatorial picks in a Social Weather Stations survey for the 2019 elections.