Press Release
March 15, 2019

Dispatch from Crame No. 486:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's Statement on Bato dela Rosa's Penchant for 'Tsismis' and Flare for Drama

When Bato dela Rosa took over as BuCor Chief in May 2018, he told drug lords operating inside Bilibid that he will make their lives miserable if they do not stop trading in drugs. Now running for senator less than a year after, Bato admits that the Bilibid drug lords still control the drug syndicates operating in the country. Basically, Bato is saying that he simply has nothing to show for his nearly 6-month stint as BuCor Chief insofar as stopping Bilibid drug lords is concerned.

What he has achieved though is gather hearsay stories from prison inmates against me in what he calls "casual" conversations. So that is what Bato has been doing in those almost 6 months as BuCor Chief, engaging in gossip with prison inmates who he claims were free to say anything to him while inside a prison he controls. Bato implies that the inmates could not have been lying to him about my supposed drug links because they were not coerced into the "casual usapan."

Bato has just confirmed what the Duterte government and its DOJ has against me in the fictional and fabricated drug cases they filed: Prison gossip. Intrigues. Lies. Tsismis na naman ang pinapangalandakang ebidensiya ni Bato laban sa akin. Being the former top investigator and law enforcer of the government as PNP Chief, Bato has revealed his most reliable investigation tool, "tsismis".

Instead of telling the public about what he learned from gossiping with prisoners, Bato should be explaining what happened to his promise that he will make the lives of Bilibid drug lords miserable, when one year after making his promise he admits that they are still in control of the drug syndicates in the country.

Now that he is running for senator, Bato should realize that the people are interested in his performance and track record as BuCor Chief, and why he has failed to stop the Bilibid drug lords under his watch. Except for the summary killings, he has even nothing to show for the prosecution of the drug war during his stint as PNP Chief. His own boss has just admitted that the number of drug users more than doubled from their previous fictitious figure of 3 million to 8 million.

But of course, Bato's antics of being tough on the drug lords and being "casual" and chummy with ordinary prison inmates is all part of Bato's flare for drama. After all, he did not weep himself soaking wet in the Senate and get a consoling hug from a senator for nothing. This is the problem with Bato dela Rosa. He is more of a showman than a public servant. He is more of a mascot than a professional.

Pang-perya lang talaga si Bato, hindi pang-Senado.

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