Duterte says he ordered Dela Rosa to reinstate relieved police chief
President Rodrigo Duterte said he ordered his special assistant to call Philippine National Police Director General Ronald Dela Rosa to reinstate a police officer who was relieved due to a pending case.
In an ambush interview with reporters after a speech in Davao on Friday, Duterte said: “It’s like this. I ordered Bong (the nickname of Special Presidential Assistant Christopher Go) to call. By the time, he handed the phone, dela Rosa answered it.”
“I said do not remove the guy (Superintendent Melvin Marcos) because.. I am doing an investigative job,” said Duterte.
In a speech before policemen in Davao City, Duterte said it was Dela Rosa's "prerogative" to return Marcos to his old post as regional criminal investigation group chief.
"You know the chief PNP, whether or not you retain there (Marcos), (it) does not really matter. That's Bato's (Dela Rosa) prerogative," he said.
Senator Leila de Lima, citing her sources, claimed on Thursday Go asked Dela Rosa to reinstate him.
Marcos led a police team to serve a search warrant at the cell of Albuera town Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr early this month. This ended in a shootout, leaving Espinosa and another inmate dead.
Duterte indicated it was part of the police investigation to bring back Marcos to his previous post in "building up the case" against him.
Duterte confirmed Marcos was "tainted" for his alleged involvement in illegal drugs, while former regional police director Chief Supt. Asher Dolina was "clean" from any involvement in illegal drugs.
Dela Rosa challenged de Lima to name her source. Celerina Monte, Emmanuel Tupas/DMS