Bato dela Rosa on Kuratong Baleleng threat: ‘Bring it on’

MANILA, Philippines – Ronald dela Rosa is not afraid.

On Monday, August 7, the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) was asked whether he was worried about his men since a police raid killed Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog, the patriarch to the family that has long been linked to the Kuratong Baleleng crime group.

“Bring it on," Dela Rosa told the Kuratong Baleleng group. "Ngayon niyo pa kami tatakutin? Matagal niyo nang tinakot 'yung pulis. Madami na ang pulis na pinatay ninyo. 'Yung team ni Colonel Gadapan, si Colonel Gadapan na lang ang naiwan na buhay. So bring it on."

(Bring it on. You're trying to scare us now? You have scared cops for a long time. You have killed so many cops already. The team of Colonel Gadapan for one, you only left Colonel Gadapan alive. So bring it on.)

According to him, they have received intel about at least two boats from Lanao del Norte supposedly carrying men hired to target the police.

To this, he said he will tell Ozamiz City Police Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido to let the gang come to him. (READ: Ozamiz mayor on drug list welcomes cop who chased after Espinosas)

"Sabihin ko kay Espenido, maglakad-lakad ka sa poblacion diyan walang armas, sabihin mo 'barilin niyo ako kung gusto niyong barilin', huwag kang magdala ng armas para makita talaga ang tapang ng mga tao na yan," Dela Rosa added.

(I will tell Espenido to walk to the town center unarmed and say 'gun me down if you want to'. [I will tell him] not to bring any weapons to show how gritty those people are.)

Commies, crimes, cops

The Ozamiz family started its relationship with the gang in the 1980s when Octavio Parojinog, Reynaldo's father, headed the group to counter communist insurgency.

When resistance was quelled, the group turned to crimes while repeatedly ignoring the government's order to disband.

The group eventually expanded to Luzon and the Visayas. (READ: The Parojinogs and the tangled webs they wove)

In 1990, Octavio died from resisting arrest by a police team lead by a certain Colonel Gadapan, the cop whom Dela Rosa mentioned.

Renato replaced Octavio as head of the family, and in a span of 3 years, the cops who were involved in the bloody arrest died one after another, save for Gadapan.

They then tried their luck in government and have since then won multiple posts.

In 2002, Renato was killed in an ambush in Ermita, Manila, leaving Reynaldo at the helm since then.

The two Parojinogs who survived the bloody raid – Ozamiz City Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog and her brother Reynaldo Jr – are currently detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City, waiting for their arraignment. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.