PNP chief won’t recommend martial law, cites own experience

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REMEMBERING his harrowing experience during Martial Law, the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Friday he would never recommend the imposition of military rule.

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PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa said he and his father experienced the excesses of the defunct Philippine Constabulary (PC), the predecessor of the police organization that he now leads.

De la Rosa said this at the sidelines of the turnover ceremony for the new batch of PNP Special Action Force troops that will secure the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.

“Do you think I will advise martial law? If you went through it you wouldn’t want to go back,” de la Rosa told reporters in a mix of English and Filipino.

The PNP Chief said that during the Martial Law period, his father was manhandled by PC personnel.

“My father was beaten by the Philippine Constabulary. He was made to eat grilled bangus (milkfish), with red-hot burning charcoal,” de la Rosa said.

“They forced open my father’s mouth, my father’s head was swollen. That’s Martial Law for me,” he added.

De la Rosa also said there was one instance when people on board an overloaded bus were ordered by PC men to disembark and hang to a wooden beam.

The PNP chief also recalled the time when he was arrested by PC personnel for violating a curfew.

“It was midnight and we were caught because of the curfew. We were watching a boxing match in Digos (Davao de Sur). We couldn’t get a ride so we walked home. The PC hauled us to a six-by-six truck,” he said.

De la Rosa said they were then brought to the barracks of the PC and ordered to line up in front of a machine gun.

“They told us to pray because we were facing a firing squad for violating the curfew. They didn’t kill us, they just threatened us,” he recalled.

The PNP chief however said he knows how to implement martial law without violating human rights, if President Rodrigo Duterte decides to declare it.

Duterte however has not discussed the imposition of martial law, he said.

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1 Comment

  1. I believed Gen Bato Dela Rosa to be an honest man. I also believed that he is not up to the job he currently holds. If not for being a loyal supporter of Pres Duterte, he would never be considered for the job as the chief of the entire police force. I saw Gen Dela Rosa physically presents at the Senate hearing but mentally absent. He needs to step down so that the President can appoint a more capable individual.