Menagerie From bato to kamatis: The Derek Ramsay story
Menagerie From bato to kamatis: The Derek Ramsay story
From bato to kamatis: The Derek Ramsay story

The nobility that is Derek Ramsay is gospel among those who live to tell his tale. His inspiring story from the movie theaters to the Malacañang teaches the aspiring that the dream of becoming a police is a dream that limits none and welcomes all. From awe inspiring chase scenes to heart pulsing film piracy busting operations, the already thin line between movie and reality increasingly becomes non-existent with every independent movie saved and pirate jailed.


You had me at “Pare”

If there’s one thing Derek Ramsay does better than anyone in the industry, it’s his relentless pursuit of excellence and quality in treating every assigned case like it was his last—all the while making him the best example for others to follow. Adding to his list of exemplary accomplishments, Derek recently was appointed as the new Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief replacing former chief “Bato” dela Rosa.

When asked about how he felt on reaching a career milestone achievement that no ordinary police could do, Derek nonchalantly said, “Pare, chief pulis na ako.

Now Derek, as incumbent PNP Chief or “Kamatis” as how his colleagues often call him, travels all across the country leading criminal investigations and film piracy crackdowns on the syndicates responsible for the proliferation and distribution of torrented movies and blacklisted shows.

The most notable of which and one that propelled President Duterte to appoint Derek was the capture of Manila’s greatest known movie mafia leader: Cardo Dalisay. The mastermind behind the Philippine’s biggest illegal movie cartel was put behind bars after Chief Kamatis and his team conducted a high profile buy-bust operation that saved 125,000 pirated copies of Moana from being circulated to the public.

Pare, we couldn’t let the citizens get a hand on those Moana copies. We chased him back in an alley and fired a warning shot that finally yielded target Cardo. He didn’t know how far he could have gone,” explained Derek after his monumental case victory.


Nowhere but up

Amidst the buildup to the most storied police officer in Philippine history, Derek was no exception to the cruel and harsh realities faced with newbie investigators who were given assignments that were anything but memorable. Chief Kamatis recalls his days as a club bouncer and traffic enforcer entrusted with the task of filtering guests and directing traffic.

Pare, sobrang hirap dati when I was still bouncing and traffic enforcing. Everyday you see the same people getting wasted and the same cars getting tickets. Pero I told myself na to strive lang. One day, I’ll make it to the top,” Derek said in a mixture of English and Filipino.

“Don’t let your dreams be dreams” was a phrase hanged in a portrait in his office as Derek was always a strong advocate for tenacity and relentlessness in chasing one’s aspirations. He shared that once he was given an opportunity to bust a film piracy operation, he gave it no other thought than a resounding “G”.

Pare, alam mo, tama si Tyra Banks. You have to want to be on top (na na nanana), regardless of how difficult the journey would be. It’s gonna be rough, but check out my gains bro!” shared Ramsay as he offered a lifetime membership in Gold’s Gym.


Derek Ramsay Feature - Ernest Mateo


No room for rotten tomatoes

Now that he is on top, Chief Kamatis is definitely not throwing away his shot with the history’s eyes on him. He drops tomato bombs about his disappointments on how the PNP had been operating and how he tends to correct them in his idealized golden age of policing.

Topping his list is the image of the policemen in the society. As a model himself, the new chief isn’t pleased by the physique of most policemen. “We can do more than just the PNP Comprehensive Health and Fitness Program,” he said while flexing his biceps. If the cops involved in kidnapping and murder of a Korean businessman were punished by doing push-ups, the good chief considers crossfit punishments for high intensity accountability.

Tolerance is also an issue for the chief. “We can’t just fight like we’re running out of time,” says Derek, checking his Rolex which he said was totally not given by the President. In the time when political conflicts are being brought into the streets, Derek calls for maximum tolerance from the policemen. “When the time comes, fire your weapon in the air. This will put an end to the whole affair,” he added rapping a line from his favorite musical, ‘Hamilton’. However, when neither fired-up bullets nor tear gasses would work, he thinks using the police van and running over protesters would be a justifiable act of dispersal.

Surprisingly, the new chief turned emotional, overwhelmed on how much he got on his plate right now. “I can’t blame the people for losing their trust. I, myself, don’t know who to trust. I just leave it [the mess of the PNP] to God,” he uttered in between sniffs. He vows, however, that he will “fight until the very end” and do his best to reform the office that he loves.


Being Kamatis in a world of Bato

In the continuance of the change that had come, the institution banks on improving its people first. The well-loved chief shares some points to The LaSallian on how to become the ideal policeman that he is. “Slay, pare, slay!” the chief advised enthusiastically. An ideal police must do whatever it takes— from stomping on tomatoes to raiding prison cells and killing drug personalities—until the last drug lord is killed. Even though the investigations will say it’s murder, an ideal police needs not to worry because as Derek assured, “The President will not allow him to go to prison for just doing his job”.

He is also worried and at the same time disgusted on the reports linking his people to extrajudicial killings, where there had been shooting despite the alleged suspects being unarmed. Although he denies the accusations, the chief reminds that an ideal police must know that initiating violence isn’t the solution. “I’ve solved cases and killed people several times without having to draw my gun first,” he shared as a matter-of-fact. “Pa’no ba e, smile ko pa lang, killer na,” the chief cracked, flashing his to-die-for side smirk.

A chief like him is no coward because his commander-in-chief is not a coward and so must his officers. “The people look up to us now. We cannot falter,” Derek points out.  The new chief means business and living up to his expectations isn’t an easy task. However, Derek emphasizes that it is for their sons, and for the future generation of his beloved Republic.

Rest assured, the glory days of the PNP are not behind them especially now that they have Chief Kamatis Derek Ramsey on board.