MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Thursday, December 1, revealed that it was his “kumpare (friend)" who had asked him to reinstate a now-controversial police official from Leyte.
Responding to questions at a news conference at Camp Crame on Thursday, Dela Rosa said a friend called him on behalf of Superintendent Marvin Marcos, former chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 8. He did not name him.
Dela Rosa earlier admitted that he had already relieved Marcos because of his supposed links to the illegal drugs trade in the region. But he changed his mind following a call from a “higher-up" whom he did not name. (READ: Dela Rosa: I got orders to reinstate Espinosa protector)
At the news conference, Dela Rosa downplayed his friend’s influence, saying he was "not that influential." He stressed that while his friend had made the request, he, as PNP chief, made the final decision.
"I don’t see any problem. That was my decision. I may be hanged or I may be praised by that decision; I’ll accept everything. That’s my own volition to reinstate him," he said. (READ: De Lima: Bong Go asked Dela Rosa to reinstate CIDG 8 chief)
The PNP chief also said that it was his job to balance disciplinary action and compassion towards his men.
Dela Rosa stood by his decision to reinstate the police officer.
“I stand by my decision. Whatever happens can happen,” he said.
Dela Rosa said Marcos and his men were worried about the family members they would leave behind in Leyte.
The public first got wind of Marcos’ alleged involvement in the drugs trade during a Senate hearing on the death of Albuera mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr attended by the latter's son, alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa. The younger Espinosa claimed that Marcos was a recipient of drug protection money. (READ: Kerwin Espinosa: Cop who led operations vs dad asked for P3M)
Marcos led a CIDG 8 operation to serve a search warrant on Mayor Espinosa inside his Baybay City jail cell on November 5. The mayor, who reportedly fired at the police, was killed in the operation that senators tagged as a"clear case of extrajudicial killing." (READ: Senate probe: Poorly-written script in Espinosa killing?)
It was not the first time that Dela Rosa reconsidered relief orders because of calls from friends. He cited the example of a non-commissioned police official who was part of Metro Manila’s anti-illegal drugs unit whom he had ordered reassigned to Mindanao.
Early in his term, Dela Rosa ordered the mass relief of anti-illegal drugs personnel to Mindanao supposedly to stop their illegal activities.
The police official, he said, was a security aide of former Representative Samuel Pagdilao. Pagdilao is a former CIDG chief.
The security aide, who also drove for Pagdilao, was only listed as a member of the anti-illegal drugs unit “for accounting purposes.” Dela Rosa said Pagdilao himself called him to ask that his driver’s relief be reconsidered. – Rappler.com