Bato defends loyalty to Duterte: 'He represents the Filipino people'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 19 2020 08:12 PM | Updated as of Feb 19 2020 08:30 PM

MANILA - There is nothing wrong with being loyal to President Rodrigo Duterte who is duly-elected to lead the country, said Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa, a day after drawing flak for flaunting his biases. 

Speaking to radio DZMM, the country's former top cop defended his declaration of personal bias for the President.

"What's wrong kung maging loyal ka sa isang pangulo na duly-elected President na nakipaglaban sa kapakanan ng sambayanang Pilipinas at willing makipag-confront sa oligarchs para gampanan ang kaniyang mandato. Ano ang masama doon?" he said.

(What's wrong if you are loyal to a duly-elected President who is fighting for the welfare of the Philippines and willing to confront oligarchs just to fulfill his mandate? What's wrong with it?)

Dela Rosa added, "Sabi nila, dapat loyal ako sa Filipino people, hindi sa isang tao na pangulo? Sino ba ang pangulo natin? He represents the Filipino people."

(They said, I should be loyal to the Filipino people and to a person who is the President? Who is our President? He represents the Filipino people.)

RESPONSE TO CRITICISMS

In response to the criticism of radio star Czarina Balba, more popularly known as DJ Chacha of MOR 101.9, the senator said he felt slighted on the comment that he should resign and become the President's bodyguard instead.

"Oh oh. Alangan naman pa-resignin niya ako. P*** kahirap mangampanya ah para maging senador," he said.

(Yes, yes. She wants me to resign. F***, campaigning to become a senator was really hard.)

The radio announcer, on her official Twitter account, questioned Dela Rosa's loyalty after making a statement that the welfare of the nation was more important than 11,000 people who could lose their jobs if ABS-CBN failed to renew its broadcast franchise.

"'Yan ang mahirap kapag mahilig kayong bumoto ng mga politikong PUPPET ang role sa gobyerno. 'Wag kang umasa na marunong silang tumayo at ipaglaban ang tama kase nagfufunction ang utak nila alinsunod sa pinuno nila," she wrote.

(That's the problem if you vote for politicians who act like puppets. We should not expect that they can stand on their own and fight for what is right because they only function based on what their leader wants.)

Dela Rosa also vowed to personally advise the President to not block ABS-CBN's franchise renewal if legislative inquiries showed the network did not commit any irregularities.

"That's how independent I am. I can decide for myself," said the first-term senator, who was voted by 19 million people during the 2019 midterm polls.

The President had repeatedly said he would block the renewal of ABS-CBN's franchise, which is set to expire on March 30, 2020. Palace recently claimed Duterte had no hand in Solicitor General Jose Calida filing a quo warranto petition against the television network. 

Congress, set to adjourn mid-March, has yet to tackle 11 bills that sought to grant ABS-CBN a fresh 25-year franchise.

"Magsabi ka sa akin kung itong lahat ng mga senador, itong congressman, itong politiko, walang loyalty sa kanilang partido? Meron yan. Lahat kami," he said.

(You tell me if all politicians are not loyal to their parties? They are. All of us.)

"Ano gusto niyo, 'yong politiko na you will be taken for a ride? At sabihin na objective ako, impartial ako, walang pinapaboran, pero deep inside sarado ang utak niyan," he added.

(What do you want? A politician who wants to be taken for a ride? And they would say their objective, impartial, unbiased, but deep inside they are actually close-minded?)

Watch more in iWant or TFC.tv