Año, Dela Rosa to focus on eliminating police scalawags

MANILA, Philippines – Police chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa said he and newly retired Armed Forces chief General Eduardo Año will focus on conducting "internal cleansing" in the Philippine National Police.

President Rodrigo Duterte said he will appoint Año as Special Assistant to the President or Undersecretary – "whichever is legally tenable" – to "supervise the police" pending the one-year ban on Año's appointment to a civilian office. 

Dela Rosa spoke to reporters on the sidelines of Año's retirement ceremony. He said he "very much welcomes" Año's appointment.

Dela Rosa said they started discussing their plans to reform the police since Duterte announced his appointment to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). 

"We will eliminate scalawags in the organization," said Dela Rosa.

In a separate interview, Año said he wants to take some time to rest first before he joins the DILG.

"About the exact date, it still has to be negotiated. Gusto ko rin sanang makapagpahinga nang kaunti (If possible, I'd want to first rest a bit)," said Año.

"Pero kung talagang pagtrabahuin na tayo, wala tayong magagawa. (But I can't do anything if I'm called to work immediately.) In my humble ways, I hope I can contribute again to serve the public and be able to make a difference," Año said.

In February, Dela Rosa ordered the creation of a “Counter Intelligence Task Force” to investigate and operate against erring cops. It's supposed to be a team of about a hundred cops, mostly from the Special Action Force (SAF), that will conduct tactical offensives against police scalawags. – Rappler.com