General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa is one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s trusted few. As the 21st Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Gen. de la Rosa topped few headlines and made a name for himself.
He was born and raised in Barangay Bato, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, where he also got his popular moniker “Bato”. General de la Rosa had his humble beginnings by finishing elementary at BATO Elementary School, and high school at Sta. Cruz National Highschool.
As a young man living a “dirt-poor” life, he tries to earn extra by working as a fish market porter and bus conductor. Determined to reach something in life, he patiently walks 8 kilometers daily to and from school.
A man of extreme dedication and passion to serve the Filipino people, he, then,
proceeded to study Bachelor of Science in Public Administration in Mindanao State
University, and joined the Philippine Military Academy, where he graduated in 1986 as part of the Sinagtala class. Seeking to further improve his knowledge in serving the people, he earned a master’s degree in Public Administration on 1998 and earned a Ph.D. in Development Administration on 2006 from the University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City.
Aside from those achievements, he also successfully completed the Scout Ranger Orientation Course, Police Intelligence Officer Advance Course, Police Officer’s Comptrollership Course, and Police Safety Officer Course. He attended the FBI National Academy’s 221st Session in Virginia, USA, and the US Ranger Course in Fort Benning, Georgia, USA. In an attempt to elevate his other skills, he took the Air Marshal Instructors Course in Australia Federal Police and FBI Asia Pacific Retainer Course.
In his three decades of service, Bato was awarded with the following medals for his exemplary performance: (1) Medalya ng Kabayanihan, which is the second highest medal in PNP, (2) Medalya ng Pambihirang Paglilingkod, (3) Medalya ng Kagitingan, (4) Medalya ng Kadakilaan, (5) Medalya ng Kagalingan, (6) Medalya ng Kasanayan, (7) Medalya ng Papuri, (8) Bronze Cross Medals, and (9) Military Merit Medals.
He also graduated at the top of his class when he took the Scout Ranger Orientation Course in Tanay, Rizal, and Police Intelligence Officers’ Advance Course.
In 2012 and 2013, he was named PNP Senior PCO of the Year for Operations. He was recognized as the PMAAA Cavalier Awardee in the Field of Operations (PCO Level) in 2015.
In 2016, Bato was the first police general and one of the 17 Peace Laureates from different countries to receive the Gusi Peace Prize, which recognizes the contributions to global peace and progress of exceptional individuals and organizations in different fields of endeavor. Moreover, he received the Vanguard of Peace and Order Award from the Philippine First Investment Council Corporation.
He officially became the 21st Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in July of 2016. In the same year, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) awarded him for Outstanding Law Enforcement during their 18th Founding Anniversary celebration.
One of the highest peaks of General Bato de la Rosa’s career is when he received the “Bintang Bhayangkara Utama”, or Media of Honor, the highest medal for the Indonesian National Police presented by the President of the Republic of Indonesia in 2018.
General dela Rosa is known for heading the police group that successfully implemented Oplan “Tokhang” or “knock and plead” in Davao City. This is where the police force goes to the houses of the suspected drug users and pushers, and asks them to give up and to shape up by mending their ways. This is the main reason for eliminating the illegal drug activities in Davao.
He started as a young Chief of Police or Station Commander in Davao to becoming a Battalion Commander of the 11th Regional Special Action Force. He was later on assigned as the Provincial Director of Compostela Valley and Davao del Sur Provincial Police Offices. He, then, became City Director of the Davao City Police Office.
Prior to becoming the top cop in the country, from 2013 to 2015, he held key posts at the PNP Intelligence Group. Bato became the Executive Officer of the PNP Directorate for Human Resource and Doctrine Development until 2016.
On July 1, 2016, he was named as the 21st Chief of the Philippine National Police under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s administration.
On April, 2018, he was then assigned as BuCor’s new Director General. He was focused on promoting reformation programs designed for inmates to restrict illegal drug activities in the New Bilibid Prison.
General Ronald de la Rosa’s monicker, Bato, aptly fits his rock-hard determination to continue serving the country. He knows that his passion to serve the Filipinos by aiming for a brighter and well-disciplined future for everyone will continue to burn. Hence, he decided to run for senator in the upcoming 2019 election. The center of his advocacy is on the war against drugs and in restoring death penalty.
When he was assigned as the Director-General of Philippine National Police in 2016, the war on drugs has been his main focus. They worked dedicatedly hard to address the illegal selling and using of these substances. This scenario lead to different reactions, both positive and negative, from the Filipinos, particularly when there were casualties of the war that emerged. De la Rosa, quickly addressed this by working on cleaning their ranks first and relieving scalawags of their duties.
He also focused on addressing the problems and crimes brought by riding-in-tandem criminals. Within a year of his appointment, de la Rosa was able to decrease crime rates by 7.8%.
With the restoration of death penalty being one of his advocacies, he explained that this would only be imposed when the drug traffickers are big-time. He proceeded to mention that the Chinese illegal drug traffickers, who were then convicted, were able to continue their operations inside the Bureau of Corrections.
As for those who confessed and surrendered that they were using or selling illegal drugs, he wants to launch a reformation program for these people. He still feels that they should be given a chance because they deserve it. He also doesn’t see them as enemies and even said that most of them are just misguided and victims as well.
A man of integrity and honesty, General de la Rosa went to visit Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona of the Archdiocese of Caceres to ask for forgiveness for the deaths that were committed because of the government’s war on drugs. De la Rosa feels responsible because even if he was not the one who directly killed these people, it was under his supervision when these killings happened. He was raised to be God-fearing and these incidents bother his conscience too. This humility in asking the Archbishop for forgiveness and admittance of this weakness is one of the most admirable traits that De La Rosa possesses.
General Ronaldo de la Rosa may really be the senator that we need. He has the passion and determination to serve, the integrity and honesty that we, Filipinos, deserve, and the humility that all politicians should exude.