Like father, like son.
More than 3 decades after he had to go through the rigors of being a plebe in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Director General Ronald dela Rosa now sees his only son, Rock, officially joining government service as a fourth class cadet of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA).
The younger Dela Rosa, who is also the PNP chief's youngest child, joined 349 other men and women who are hoping to graduate in 2021 as the country's next set of commissioned public safety officers.
But the 4-star general purposely chose to skip his son's reception rites at the PNPA in Camp Castañeda in Silang, Cavite on Monday, May 1.
"Takot ako baka mas lalo siyang pahirapan ng mga upper class na kadete pag andon ako... baka ma challenge sila, pakita na talagang they are over and above the plebe who is my son. So ganon yun, ganon 'yung attitude ng kadete so iwas na lang ako baka mamaya mas lalong mamalasin ang anak ko," Dela Rosa told reporters hours after his son officially joined the cadet corps.
(I'm afraid that the upperclass cadets would give him a harder time because I'm there. They might be challenged to show that they're really over and above the plebe who is my son. So that's how it works, that's the attitude of cadets so I avoided that because my son might have to bear the consequences.)
Upperclassmen – the academy's sophomores, juniors, and seniors – take turns subjecting fourth class cadets (freshmen) to physical trials during their reception ceremony. The younger Dela Rosa was not at all exempt from the tradition.
His father, after all, went through the same trials.
Above is a picture of the older Dela Rosa during his days as a fourth class cadet of the PMA in 1982. Standing beside him is one of his upperclassmen, a second class cadet of the military academy then.
Rock, a 22-year-old business administration graduate, took and passed the PNPA Cadet Admission Test in 2016, months after his father took on the post of the country's top cop.
"Every significant event na mangyari sa buhay ng anak mo, gusto mo talaga bilang tatay na andon ka... dapat nandoon ako pero pinigilan ko talaga dahil alam mo na," said Dela Rosa, chuckling.
(Every significant event in your child's life, you really want to be there as a father. I should have been there but I stopped myself because, you know...)
Dela Rosa's wife and daughter, however, were there to send Rock off.
"Pinipilit pa rin niya pumasok dahil sabi nga niya, for the love of country, gusto niya magserbisyo (My son really wanted to enter the academy because as he said, he's doing this for love of country. He wants to serve)," said Dela Rosa.
The PNP chief is set to retire in January 2018, when he turns 56. – Rappler.com