MANILA- Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa on Wednesday sought one more chance for controversial police official Supt. Marvin Marcos, promising to take it personally the next time the embattled cop errs.
"Please give me one more chance. 'Pag gumawa pa ito ng kalokohan, I will take it personally against him, your honor," Dela Rosa told a Senate hearing Wednesday.
The PNP chief said this in response to Sen. Grace Poe, who pointed out that putting Marcos back as head of a regional unit of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) was problematic.
Marcos was the CIDG Region 8 chief when he and 18 of his men held a pre-dawn operation at the Leyte sub-provincial jail on Nov. 5, 2016 and shot dead Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa and another inmate Raul Yap.
The officers had explained that they were supposed to serve search warrants at the cell, but that the inmates tried to shoot at them. They were initially charged with murder, but the Department of Justice, upon review, downgraded the charges to homicide, allowing the men to post bail.
Marcos, the most senior among the accused, has since been assigned as officer-in-charge of CIDG Region 12 (Soccsksargen) after serving his suspension.
The Senate opened on Wednesday a fresh inquiry into Espinosa's death after the DOJ downgrade. Its earlier investigation had ruled the Mayor's slay a case of murder, citing pre-meditation on the part of Marcos' team.
"Oo, nagkaroon ng suspension, pero binibigyan mo pa rin ng parehong responsibilidad doon sa lugar na 'yun. Hindi 'yan matututo ng leksyon, ganun pa rin. Siguro, mas walang habas na, kung saka-sakali, lalakas ang loob niyan," Poe told Dela Rosa.
The senator also told the PNP chief that President Rodrigo Duterte, who had many times defended Marcos, would likely listen to him if only he had appealed.
"Pero naniniwala akong [may] kumpiyansiya siya sa iyo. Kung sinabi mong, ‘Mr. President, hindi siguro maganda muna [na ibalik si Marcos sa puwesto]. Alam kong sumusweldo yan. Bigyan natin ng ibang trabaho. Bakit natin bibigyan 'yan ng posisyon na liderato?’," she said.
But Dela Rosa said he believes Marcos' reappointment to a leadership position would be a challenge.
"Ako naman, your honor, I take it as a challenge na 'pag binigyan ko ng tsansa itong taong ito [para] magtrabaho, then gumagawa naman ng kalokohan, ako naman ang nag-guwardiya, your honor," he said.
Poe asked Dela Rosa why Marcos was not assigned instead to a lower position under a different unit, but the police chief said if he is truly a scalawag cop, he would do wrong no matter where he is placed.
"Posibleng may kuwan dun, your honor. Pareho lang 'yun. Kung gusto mo talagang magloko, kahit anong assignment, makakagawa ka," he said.