MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he will exercise his power to review resolutions by the Department of Justice (DOJ) that displease him.
"I have the power to review. Power of supervision and control. If I do not like your resolution, kukunin ko 'yan (I'll get it)," Duterte said in a speech during the general assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines.
"I'll study it in accordance with the standards of fairness of the law," he added.
The Chief Executive last week fumed over the decision of DOJ prosecutors to clear confessed drug trafficker Kerwin Espinosa, his alleged cohorts Peter Lim and Peter Co, and 19 others of charges filed by the police.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday said he has ordered the scrapping of the dismissal of the charges, leaving the case “wide open” for new evidence and testimonies.
In his speech, Duterte also warned local officials at the event that he will not tolerate involvement in the narcotics trade.
"Kung ikaw ang mayor na t*****, you better stay home or stay in prison in the meantime.... Ako ang Presidente, magsalubong tayo, 'pag magsalubong tayo, patay ka talaga sigurado 'yan," he said.
(If you're a s****** mayor, you better stay home or stay in prison in the meantime. I am the President and if we cross paths, you will surely die.)
Duterte himself in 2016 accused Espinosa and his father, Mayor Rolando Espinosa of Albuera, Leyte of dabbling in illegal drugs.
The elder Espinosa surrendered in August 2016 to answer the accusations. He was killed 3 months later by police who were conducting a predawn "raid" inside Baybay sub-provincial jail where Espinosa was held.
His son was arrested by Abu Dhabi police in October 2016. He later confessed his drug dealings before a Senate inquiry.
The CIDG, however, said Espinosa recanted his Senate testimony.
With a report from Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News