By Hannah Torregoza
Neophyte Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Tuesday vowed to pursue measures that would protect children and their future, saying he filed almost half of his 10 priority bills dedicated for them.
“Mahal na mahal natin ang mga bata, actually in our priority bills marami ang para sa kanila. We love the younger generation, sila ang future ng ating bansa, (We love children very much, actually in our priority bills, most of these are dedicated for them. We love the younger generation, they are the future of our nation),” Dela Rosa said in an interview.
These priority measures include drug abuse prevention education in the K to 12 curriculum, mandatory ROTC, police scholarships, and the establishment of a crisis center for street children.
On Monday, Dela Rosa promised to be more careful in expressing his thoughts on certain issues. This was after he made the controversial remark “sh*t happens” during police operations.
The remark drew flak especially since he made the statement after being asked about the death of 3-year old Myca Ulpina who died during an anti-drug operation in Rizal recently.
Dela Rosa said that what he meant was that “unfortunate things do happen.”
“Klaruhin ko nalang na (kung) hindi maganda ang dating nun sa parents ng bata na namatay, I would like to apologize to the family yung aking wrong use of term, dapat ang sinabi ko dun instead na ‘shit happens’, dapat unfortunate incidents do happen, dapat ganun ang aking choice of words,” Dela Rosa said.
Dela Rosa said he would initiate an inquiry on the case once he assumes chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs when the 18th Congress opens on July 22.
The senator said he will not hesitate recommending the prosecution of those who would be found responsible for the girl’s untimely death, saying that her demise was really unacceptable.
“Hindi katanggap-tanggap talaga na sitwasyon ‘yun (that situation was really unfortunate),” the former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief said.
“Kahit na di sinasadya yun, may namatay na inosenteng bata kaya dapat mananagot kung sino ang responsable dun kahit na unintentional at di sinadya. Dahil may buhay na nakitil, kailangan managot ang dapat managot (Even though it was accidental, an innocent child died, that is why those responsible should be held accountable, even though it was unintentional. A life was lost,)” he reiterated.