MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte does not micromanage the Philippine National Police (PNP), its director insisted Monday, contrary to the findings of 2 Senate committees in connection to death of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.
The Senate committees on public order and justice had concluded that Espinosa's "premeditated" killing at the hands of several cops last November could have been prevented if Duterte did not micromanage the PNP and cancelled a prior relief order for the officers.
The 2 panels, in a 34-page report, added that Espinosa's murder was "premedidated" by Supt. Marvin Marcos and his men from the Criminal Investigative and Detection Group-Region 8 purportedly to cover up their involvement in the illegal drug activities of the mayor.
PNP Chief, General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa came to Duterte's defense, saying his boss is a hands-on leader but does not interfere with the way he runs the police force.
"He is a hands-on leader but he is not a micro-manager... As to the crucial decisions about what to do in a particular issue, ang sasabihin niya sa akin ay, 'Bahala ka nang mag-decide, you are the commander,'" Dela Rosa said in a press briefing.
"Kapag tinatanong siya ng ibang tao ano ang masasabi mo rito, sabi niya, 'Bahala na si Bato, alam na ni Bato ang dapat gawin.'"
(He is a hands-on leader but he is not a micro-manager... As to the crucial decisions about what to do in a particular issue, he tells me, 'The decision is up to you, you're the commander.' When other people ask him about his opinion, he says, 'Bato will take care of it, he knows what to do.')
Dela Rosa said he knows what the President wants even without being told because they have worked together for 35 years now.
"I can read his mind, so to speak. Hindi na niya ako kailangang diktahan kung ano ang gusto niya (He does not need to dictate what he wants)," he said.
The PNP chief added that he is ready to remove Marcos from his post if recommended by the police Internal Affairs Service, which has yet to complete its separate probe on Espinosa's death.
Dela Rosa issued a relief order for Marcos and his men last Oct. 15 but it was revoked the same day by Duterte.
About a month after, the officers gunned down Espinosa and another inmate, Raul Yap, during a predawn search of their detention cells at the Baybay City sub-provincial jail.
The slain mayor's son, self-claimed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, testified during a Senate inquiry that Marcos was on his payroll -- an allegation that the officer tearfully denied.