Calls for Senator Bato Dela Rosa’s resignation trended online after tirades vs DJ Cha Cha

February 20, 2020 - 2:09 PM
bato dela rosa
Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa (The Star/Mong Pintolo)

The views of DZMM radio jock Czarina Balba, popularly known as DJ Chacha, against Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa prompted calls for the neophyte senator’s resignation on local Twitter.

When asked if he will vote for ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, Dela Rosa on February 18 said that he would vote according to President Rodrigo Duterte’s position on the matter.

“Ako, I will live and die with President [Rodrigo] Duterte. I will sink and swim with him. Hindi ako plastic na magsabing wala akong bias. Totoong tao ako na magsabi na may bias ako towards the president,” Dela Rosa told reporters.

He also initially said that putting the welfare of the Filipino public, whose trust ABS-CBN allegedly abused, is more important than that of the company’s 11,000-workforce.

Balba, also a radio jock on MOR 101.9, did not mince words with her reaction to this.

“I suggest mag-resign na dapat si Senator Bato sa pagiging senador at mag-apply na Bodyguard ng Presidente tutal naman ang loyalty niya ay sa Pangulo at hindi sa taong bayan,” Balba tweeted.

Her tweet immediately made rounds more than 6,000 times on the micro-blogging platform and was eventually picked up by mainstream media.

The hashtag #BatoResign then trended on Twitter Philippines on the night of February 19.

One Twitter user shared a compilation of similar remarks made by Duterte’s vocal supporters.

Another compared his statement to that of late Miriam Defensor Santiago, who ran and lost in the national elections in 2016.

When the news reached Dela Rosa, he immediately clapped back, saying there’s nothing wrong with being loyal to the president.

“Mali ba ang maging loyal sa isang (Is it wrong to be loyal to a) duly-elected president who is after the welfare of his people and who is willing [to] confront the oligarchs who had been bastardizing this country for so long a time?” he said.

Dela Rosa, who goes by “Bato,” also quipped that Balba only knew to dance “cha cha” given her nickname.

“Sabihan mo si DJ Chacha baka ang alam lang nya ay mag-chacha,” he said.

Balba, however, was not done with her comments. She chided that the neophyte senator might be more loyal to the president than to his wife and that she will give him tips how to reapply for a new US visa, as his previous one got canceled.

The cancellation of Dela Rosa’s US visa, a private matter, led to Duterte terminating the 1998 Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States.

Upholding public interest

A public official’s role on being loyal and accountable to the people is enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.

In section 1 of Article XI, it is stated that:

“Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.”

This is further stated in Section 4 of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, wherein:

“Public officials and employees shall always uphold the public interest over and above personal interest. All government resources and powers of their respective offices must be employed and used efficiently, effectively, honestly and economically, particularly to avoid wastage in public funds and revenues.”