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Bato says his victory in May 13 polls shows strong public support for Oplan Tokhang


Former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa on Wednesday said his victory in the recently concluded senatorial election validates the effectivity of the Duterte administration's controversial war on drugs.

Dela Rosa, who is among the winning senators to be proclaimed by the Commission on Elections later in the day, was chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) when it carried out a massive anti-drug campaign blamed by human rights groups for the deaths of thousands of drug suspects.

Interviewed on Unang Balita, Dela Rosa pointed out that despite the fact that Metro Manila was the "most affected region" of the anti-drug campaign, many residents still voted for him.

"Metro Manila is the most drug affected region. Pinakamaraming namatay, pinakamaraming nahuli. Kung hindi nila nagustuhan ang aking Oplan Tokhang, bakit nila ako ginawang Number 1 sa Metro Manila?" he said.

"It goes to show na okay 'yung ginagawa natin."

Dela Rosa, who placed fifth with over 19 million votes in the Senate race, said he will continue his war against illegal drugs in the Senate by pushing for the reimposition of the death penalty but only for convicted drug traffickers.

"Death penalty for drug trafficking only," Dela Rosa said. "Huwag mo na isama heinous crimes."

He said he would also focus on professionalizing the PNP, now that Senator Panfilo Lacson, himself a former PNP chief, has said that he will give the Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs to him.

"Tututukan ko una yung professionalism ng PNP. Ito, hindi ko sinasabi na hindi professional ang PNP ngayon. I've been there, pero marami pang dapat gawin," Dela Rosa said. —KBK, GMA News