Dela Rosa to De Lima: Name your source and I'll reveal 'kumpare'

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Friday, December 2, denied allegations that Special Assistant to the President Bong Go had asked him to reinstate a cop with alleged drug links.

In a media interview at the New Bilibid Prison posted by radio dzMM, Dela Rosa  dared Senator Leila de Lima, who made the allegation, to name her source.

"Sabihin niya muna sa akin kung sino ang source niya, sabihin ko kung sino ang kumpare ko na nakiusap sa akin (She should tell me first who her source is, and I will reveal the name of the friend who made the request)," the PNP chief said.

De Lima thumbed down the call, and instead threw back the challenge to the PNP chief.

"I will not and will never disclose my source. That info was given to me in confidence. I cannot breach the confidence accorded me by my source. Instead, I dare General Bato to disclose to us who is that personality/official 'higher' than him, if it's not Bong Go, who gave the order to reinstate Marcos," she said.

De Lima pointed out that it was Dela Rosa who dropped the bombshell in the first place.

"The duty to disclose belongs to him, and not to me, since he was the one who revealed the giving of the order," she said.

Dela Rosa revealed in an interview on ANC's Headstart on Tuesday that he reinstated Crime Investigation and Detection Group Region 8 chief Marvin Marcos after a "higher up" requested it. (READ: Espinosa case: Why were Marcos and team moved to CIDG 8?)

The request was made before Marcos headed the police operation that led to the death of Albuera mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr inside his jail cell in Leyte. The late mayor's son, alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, had claimed that Marcos  received drug money from him.

The PNP chief said in a media interview on Thursday that it was his "kumpare" who made the request but refused to divulge his identity, adding that it was he, as top cop, who made the final decision. That same day, De Lima alleged that according to her "source," Go intervened on behalf of Marcos.

Go had denied the allegation, calling it "pure hearsay and unsubstantiated."

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, an ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, came to Go's defense and accused De Lima of attempting to divert public attention away from the drug allegations hounding her.

"Senator De Lima seems to be resorting to squid tactics as a strategy to get the attention away from the accusations in which she herself is involved," Cayetano said in a statement on Friday.

The senator, Duterte's running mate in the 2016 elections, described Go as "a professional."

"He doesn't insert his own agenda in his professional duties. He is a soldier who follows his commander-in-chief's directives. He should not be dragged in controversy especially when there is no clear proof," the senator said. – With a report from Camille Elemia/