Bato Dela Rosa wants Sara Duterte, Bong Go with him in Senate

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 24) — Bureau of Corrections Chief and senatorial aspirant Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa has a dream team for the Senate.

When asked who he would like to work with, Dela Rosa told CNN Philippines' The Source, "Si Sara [Duterte], si Bong Go, si... Mangudadatu, tsaka si JV Ejercito."

The former National Police chief referred to Davao Mayor and presidential daughter Sara "Inday" Duterte-Carpio, Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go, possibly Maguindanao Rep. Zajid "Dong" Mangudadatu and Senator Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito.

Duterte-Carpio said she is only interested in seeking reelection next year. She founded the regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago, which is endorsing its own set of candidates for the midterm elections.

Meanwhile, specultation regarding a possible Senate run surrounds Go. The presidential assistant has had heightened public appearances, and many have noted his appearance on billboards and his name tagged in donations to victims of calamity.

RELATED: Bong Go: I'm not 'epal'  

Dela Rosa could also have been referring to Maguindanao Rep. Mangudadatu, who is part of the ruling party PDP-Laban's senatorial shortlist.

Ejercito, who was also listed in PDP-Laban's initial list, is seeking re-election.

Dela Rosa said he idolizes Senator Ping Lacson, who also served as a Philppine National Police Chief from 1999 to 2001 before moving to politics. The elder senator previously said he was "biased" toward Dela Rosa, because "pinanggalingan ko yung puwesto niya [we come from the same position]."

The Bureau of Corrections chief himself has flip-flopped on whether he would push through with a Senate run, before finally confirming his slot this month. He previously expressed interest in running for Governor of Davao del Sur, but he said the President instructed him to go for a national seat.

'I won't make resource persons cry'

Dela Rosa, who led President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody war on drugs, also recalled his own time in the Senate hot seat during hearings on possible police abuse.

The then-police chief cried twice, first in September last year when he turned emotional over loss of public confidence in the police. He shed tears again in November, as he claimed that there was no policy to kill drug suspects.

"Hindi ko paiyakin yung aking resource persons. Kung in aid of legislation at wala kang hidden agenda, bakit mo papaiyakin?" said Dela Rosa. "Basta ako I would treat them with full dignity."

[Translation: I will not make my resource persons cry. If it's in aid of legislation and you have no hidden agenda, why would you make them cry? I would treat them with full dignity.]

The BuCor Chief has also vowed to fight for death penalty if he wins a spot in the upper house. On top of this, he wants cell phone sim cards to be traceable.

"Kung hindi kayang maging post-paid na lang lahat para ma-trace yung gumagamit ng cellphone sa krimen, baka puwedeng strictly registered lahat ng prepaid para matumbok talaga kung sinong gumagamit," said Dela Rosa.

[Translation: If everyone cannot be (have) post-paid (plans) so that cell phones can easily be traced in case of crime, maybe we can strictly register prepaid (sims) so we will know who uses them.]

During his time as police chief, government records show about 4,000 died in police operations. However, human rights watchdogs estimate up to 13,000 deaths — including those from vigilante-style killings.

Human Rights Watch in April said that Dela Rosa left behind a police force with a "sordid human rights record unmatched since the Marcos dictatorship," saying that he had to answer to the deaths under his term. Among these high profile killings are the deaths of Korean national Jee Ick Joo, 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos, and jailed Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa.

While Dela Rosa maintains that there was no government directive to kill criminal suspects, he also recently admitted to giving an order to "shoot to maim" — and possibly kill — for attempted smuggling in New Bilibid Prison.