Duterte on reinstating Supt Marcos: Public has nothing to fear

MANILA, Philippines – Though he has said he feels no need to explain why he ordered the reinstatement of Superintendent Marvin Marcos, President Rodrigo Duterte assured the public he is not in cahoots with drug lords. 

"I guarantee you, there was nothing wrong with it. I was just trying to figure out something else there," said Duterte on Monday, December 12, during the presentation of the Ten Outstanding Young Men and Women at the Palace.

"There was nothing to it. Huwag kayong matakot (Don't be afraid). I do not receive drug money, susmaryosep," added the President. 

His assurance comes after his critics in Congress, including Senator Leila de Lima and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, claimed Duterte's order to keep Marcos in his post proves the President has dubious motives. The police officer had been linked to the drug trade.

De Lima even accused Duterte of being the country's top drug lord, despite his administration's controversial campaign against illegal drugs. (READ: 'Duterte is a murderer' – De Lima)

In his Monday speech, Duterte said he still has "more" to study about what Marcos is involved in. 

"Hindi ko pa rin malaman kung talagang (I still don't know) if it was a network or just the work of one person. So I have to study more," he said.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa himself wanted Marcos out of his position because of suspicions he was protecting drug lords.

Kerwin Espinosa tagged Marcos as among the policemen protecting drug operations.

But Dela Rosa said Marcos was relieved from his post and reinstated in a span of 24 hours following Duterte's orders. The President had said that he was observing the policeman's movements as part of an "investigation."

Marcos went on to lead a prison raid where Albuera mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr was killed. Marcos insisted that Espinosa fought back, forcing police to shoot him, but the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said police had murdered the mayor.

Despite the NBI findings, Duterte still believes in the Leyte cops' version of the story. Until the NBI comes up with better evidence, the President said he won't let the policemen go to jail. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.