Duterte’s top cop in Philippines drugs war to be investigated over boxing trip to Las Vegas
The man overseeing President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs will be investigated over a trip to Las Vegas earlier this month to watch a boxing world title fight involving Philippines senator Manny Pacquiao.
Ronald Dela Rosa, head of the Philippine National Police, will be probed for impropriety upon orders from Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, the watchdog of public officials, according to the agency’s public information director Mary Rawnsle Lopez.
The police chief admitted on national television to accepting an all-expenses paid trip to the US for him and his family provided by Pacquiao.
“The Ombudsman is conducting a fact-finding investigation regarding the alleged travel perks received by the PNP chief when he went to Las Vegas,” Lopez said in a mobile-phone message. “Investigation will look into possible criminal and administrative liability.”
Dela Rosa said he’s open to the planned probe. “Let them investigate,” he told reporters in Davao City, according to transcript provided by state television PTV 4. “I’m okay. What’s important is that I don’t embezzle money.”
Under Philippines law, public officials and employees must refrain from soliciting or accepting any gift that will affect the discharge of their duties. Such violation may lead to prison terms of as many as five years and removal from office.
Dela Rosa wasn’t answering his mobile phone when contacted for comment. Philippine Daily Inquirer on November 9 reported that the police chief was not concerned about propriety and that he was thankful to Pacquiao.
As national police chief, Dela Rosa is implementing Duterte’s declared war on narcotics that has resulted in thousands of alleged drug dealers being killed since Duterte was sworn into office in June. The Senate, where Pacquiao is a member, recently began an investigation into the November 5 killing of town Mayor Rolando Espinosa inside his prison cell.