Bato Dela Rosa heckled for defending Duterte on anti-corruption efforts

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 2) — A crowd of supporters and students was not pleased when senatorial candidate Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa defended the President’s strategy to curb corruption in the government.

The former Chief of Police and Bureau of Corrections head said President Rodrigo Duterte has been doing his best to eliminate corruption in his administration, citing the government’s latest military takeover of the Customs bureau.

The President is, kawawang-kawawa na talaga kawawa… May nangyari na ba yung tinanggal lahat ng customs dahil gusto niya ng bago at nilagay niya yung mga sundalo? Meron na ba nangyaring yan sa historia ng Pilipinas? Wala pa” Dela Rosa argued during the CNN Philippines senatorial forum on Sunday.

[Translation: I feel sorry for the President. Has it ever happened before that a President removed and replaced all the customs officials and put the military in charge? Has that ever happened in the history of the Philippines? Not yet.]

Dela Rosa added that he wanted to get rid of corruption once and for all by filing a bill to reimpose the death penalty, even against corrupt officials, should he win the Senatorial race.

Lahat nang inisip ng Presidenteng gawin para mawala ang corruption. Kaya ako nagdecide na tumakbong Senador kasi kapag ako’y nanalo magfafile ako ng bill ng death penalty para sa mga corrupt na pulitiko,” he said.

[Translation: The President is thinking of everything to get rid of corruption. That is why I decided to run as Senator so I can file a bill for death penalty against corrupt officials.]

His answer was met with heckles and jeers from audience members.


Dela Rosa also offered his opinion on martial law extension in Mindanao, attacking critics who were allegedly from Luzon.

Bakit ba nagrereklamo mga taga-Luzon eh masayang masaya naman mga taga Mindanao?,” he argued.

[Translation: Why are those from Luzon complaining about martial law when residents in Mindanao are pleased with it?]

Netizens were disappointed by the candidate’s answer. 




Mindanao is currently under martial rule. Critics have raised fears over a nationwide martial law implementation due to a government order to add more military troops to several provinces. However, the President denied this claim.

The midterm elections will be held in May 2019. Dela Rosa is a senatorial candidate under the PDP-Laban Party.