Press Release
June 2, 2022

Sen Dela Rosa's Speech for the End of 18th Congress and Outgoing Senators


Barely three years ago, I was a neophyte Senator, who brought with me more than half of a lifetime's worth of experience in law enforcement. All around me, people harbored questions: "Kaya ba ni Bato maging senador?" "Anong magagawa ng isang pulis sa Senado?" Questions that I have heard far too often.

I have been doubted since Day 1 of my term. My critics have every right to do so. After all, the Senate is a public office and it is not mine but the people's. Gayunpaman, ang pangamba ng marami ay itinuring kong motibasyon upang lalo pang pagbutihin ang aking trabaho. Pero hindi naman sapat ang motibasyon lang. Everything that I have accomplished this Congress, I owe it all to you, my colleagues in the 18th Congress. Everyday has been a humbling experience and yet, you have given me every bit of confidence to continue and to push for my advocacies.

There is always a spirit of good cheer whenever the last day of Session comes - everyone looks forward to a culmination of all our hard work and effort. Today, however, a different sort of cheer can be felt, because we know that on this last Session Day of the 18thCongress, we are also paying tribute to our colleagues who will no longer be with us as we move forward to entering the 19th Congress.

Senator Leila De Lima and Senator Kiko Pangilinan, we may have found each other on opposite sides of the fence several times, but I have always held deep respect for them both. I respect their sense of truth and justice, as well as their resolve to stand their ground.

Senator Gordon, I wish to honor him for his commitment to be impartial, especially in handling the issues dealt with by the Blue Ribbon Committee. As he has so rightly expressed: "We all are born with rights, but we are also born with duties and responsibilities." I thank Senator Gordon for reminding us to be true to our duties and responsibilities as Senators of the Republic.

And I would like to thank you, Sir, personally, for my very memorable moment in the Senate. When I debated with you during the deliberation of the Judicial Marshall bill. Nakita ko kasi, Sir, na medyo nahirapan kang kumbinsihin ako kaya masaya na rin ako kahit papaano. Thank you, Sir, for that.

Senator Manny Pacquiao, the one person in this august chamber whose background of hardship and poverty matches mine the most: I admire you for pushing through the cruelties of circumstance and choosing to beat the odds. Sinong mag-aakala na ang isang Manny, at ang isang Bato, ay balang-araw magiging mga Senador ng Republika? Ours is an unexpected destiny, only because one simply cannot equate expectation with destiny. I thank Senator Manny Pacquiao for being proof of that.

And siguro si Manny Pacquiao lang ang ang pulitiko na namimigay ng pera kahit walang eleksyon kaya masaya ako na maging kaibigan si Senator Manny Pacquiao. Kahit walang eleksyon namimigay ng pera pero 'pag may eleksyon na, wala nang pera kasi bawal naman. Bawal na. Pero 'pag walang eleksyon, namimigay dahil napakabait na tao.

Senator Ping Lacson, Sir, whom I still call 'Sir', with honor. I know him to be the most incorruptible person on this planet.

He once joked that I seemed to be following his footsteps closely - he was the PNP Chief, I also became Chief PNP, he became a Senator, I also became a Senator, and for a short time, I, too, was a candidate for President. The short of it, Mr. President, is that wherever he goes, Senator Lacson blazes a trail that I cannot help but follow. That, in itself, is leadership, and his is the kind that goes well beyond position.

Our Senate President Pro Tempore, Senator Ralph Recto. I will always be in awe of his keen attention to detail, his willingness to think through every technicality in a proposed bill. They say the devil is in the details, but I daresay, it is not the devil, but Senator Recto, Mr. President. His acute powers of observation should be emulated by those who follow in his footsteps.

Our beloved Senate Minority Leader, Senator Franklin Drilon. Tapos na akong umiyak, Sir. Ayaw ko nang umiyak. I can rightly consider my first three years here in the Senate as my formative years, and I am more than grateful to experience how it is to be put under the microscope of Senator Frank. I have had much to learn, but no learning is wasted if one is blessed with an excellent model. Hindi ko po pipigilan ang sarili kong sabihin na maswerte ako na nakasama ko si Senator Drilon. Nakasama sa kwentuhan, sa debate, sa pagbuo ng mga batas na makabubuti sa bayan.

At uulitin ko, Sir, sinabi na rin ni Senator Pacquiao kanina, naaawa ako sa mga incoming neophyte senators, si Senator Raffy Tulfo, si Senator Robin Padilla, Senator Mark Villar, they are deprived of the chance going to school under you. And I'm very lucky, Sir, to have gone to school under you, to be schooled by you. Salamat, Sir.

And of course, our Senate President, Vicente Sotto III. I will never forget that one time, when we were voting for the adoption of the first Bicameral Report on BFP modernization. Almost everyone voted against the report. But I say now as I said then: I am proud that in that moment, my Senate President voted with me. Hindi mo po ako iniwan, Sir. Maraming salamat po. To the Senate President who knows the Senate Rules by heart, always has our back, and whose life is a testament to his love of country: I remain eternally grateful.

Ang sabi nga sa akin kanina ng aking seatmate, aking buddy na si Senator Bong Go, sabi niya, "Pare, mabuti nga't ang bilis mong naka-adjust dito sa senado. Marunong ka nang mamulitika dito sa senado. Ang bilis mong naka-adjust kahit pulis ka dito." Sabi ko, "Alam mo, Pare, ang aking sikreto diyan, sikreto akong tinuturuan ni Senate President Tito Sotto kung paano gawin 'yan." Kaya napakagaling na magturo niyan ni Senator Tito Sotto talaga. Maraming salamat talaga. Naka-adjust ako dahil sa'yo. Ang galing mong magturo. Thank you po, Sir.

So, if you happen to be one of the people who questioned, or are still questioning my capability, my worth as a Senator, "Kaya ba ng isang General Bato," here is my secret: I have had the honor of having the best colleagues who have guided me along the way.

24 senators. And as they say, 24 republics. And yet, some of them took time to show me the ropes. Ang sarap po ng feeling kung ikaw ay bagito at ikaw ay tinutulungan ng iyong mga beteranong kasama. Hindi ka pinapabayaan. I cannot think of any other way to repay your kindness but to protect our beloved institution and continue to serve our people through meaningful pieces of legislation.

To the 18th Congress, and to all that we have stood for, my warmest congratulations.

Daghan kaayong salamat, Mr. President.

News Latest News Feed