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, -,," TuesDav I AueusT 20) 2019



'of insincerity More to the point, Dela Rosa acting as an adult
concerned for the welfare and safety of so-called
t was not really surprising that Sen. Ronald wayward kids proved to be too laughable apremise
'lBato" dela Rosa's first hearing as chair of the for many. Former representative Neri Colmenares
* was quick with a retort: "Anongklaseng parent ka?
S€nate committee on public order and dan-
gerous drugs would target militant groups,.a Nais mong ibaba ang criminal age of responsibility
para makulong ang mga bata. Anongklaseng parent
thorn in the side of his patron, the PresidenL
ka? Maraming minors ang namatay sa antidrug
Under the guise of investigating the
alleged recruitment of minors by teftist campaign na pinamunuan nao (What kind of a par-
groups, the former chief of the Philippine ent are you? You want to lower the age of criminali-
National Police attempted to project ty so that children will be jailed... Many minors
himself as the new child advocate in town. were killed in the drug war you administered)."
- Indeed, call it karmic coincidence:-maybe the
Which would have been fine, if not for the irony,
heavens were sending a reminder?-but Dela Rosa
or-in the words of Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos would debut ad Senate committee chair proclaiming
Zarate-the hypocrisy of it.
As the newlf minted senator presented an- ttrat his "heart bleeds" for the minors recnrited to ioin
guished'mothers making heartfelt pleas for the re- the ranksof militant groups, and endorsing heightened
turn of their daughters who were supposedly re- military and police presenceinuniversities a mere two
cruited by groups like Anakbayan, one had the @ys \ef_ore the second anniversary of the death of a
thought that such incidents were best left for fami- minor whose killing under the drug war he ran would
lies to privately deal with rather than through a forever be abloody stain onhis police badge.
public inquiry. The two"female students deemed The death of a defenseless Kian delos Santos, ry,
missing would surface, aftcr all, to clariff that they onAug 16 nryoyears ago inthe hands of Caloocanpo-
had voluntarily joined activist groups,, and that licemen, captured on CCTV, so horrified the public
family differences were at the root of their decision that President Duterte was forced to suspend t'Oplan
to defy their parents and join those organizations. Tokhang." Just as sickening was the odious behavior
But because Zarate presented one of the "miss- of Dela Rosa, then the PNP chieland others in the po-
ing" girls in a press conference at the House of Rep- lice force following the incident. Showing not an
resentatives while her mother was making her plea ounce of sympathy for the dead child or his family,
at the Senate committee, Dela Rosa puffed himself Dela Rosa instead gleefullypeddled disinformation to
up into a sanctimonious balloon, then huffed out malign the boy and his'Sin. fi"t, he declared, was a
the line that ended up as the meme of the week. courier for his father, the drug user, and his uncles,
"What kind of parent are you?" Dela Rosa demand- the pushers. None of those public accl,rsations would
'You're also a parent If you re a responsi- pan ouL Three cops would eventuallybe found'guilty
ed of Zarate.
ble parent, youknowthe motherwas crying, dontyou
for Kian's murder, but the Caloocan police chief was
even promoted after waiting out the firestorm.
have pity on the mother? You should have helped, you
should have brought the child to the mottrer."
Dela Rosa's newfound zeal to protect children,
Whictr, one could Er64te, was avalid point-except his big to-do about proper parenting in the guise of
unfortunatety, the shrdents themselves said.they did keeping children away from the dangers of ac-
not want to be associated with their parents' public ap- tivism and critical thinking, falls flat in the face of
pearance on behalf of Dela Rosa's patent agenda to the gruesome death toll of dozens of minors that
muscle the police and military into schools. A$ ffiea have been killed in the drug war. Just last mohth,
Lucen4 one of thqstu$ents, i"ia in a Faceboon gr$t that war's chief barker and form€r. rloscot also
'Paia sa AFP at saTehimeng Duterte (To ttre $FP and infamously chirped, in describing the death of
Dutefte administration): Doh't you dare use me and 3-year-old Myca Ulpina in a drug buy-bust opera-
my family to cover up your inutility and rotten admin- tion, that, well, "Shit happens.'
istratior-r-b Lucena is r8 years old, which makes her ari . A rock of insinierity and pretense is sitting
adultcapable of mat<ing up her ownmifrd- in the Senate. I

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