MANILA - Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said he would reinstate police officers tagged in the killing of a town mayor linked to the illegal drug trade.
Supt. Marvin Marcos and 18 others were suspended over the shooting of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. inside his jail cell last November.
"Sayang din kung walang ginagawa, 'di ba? Sumusweldo [sina Marcos], walang ginagawa. E 'di pagtrabahuhin natin," Dela Rosa told reporters on Wednesday.
(It's a waste if they get paid for doing nothing. They should be working.)
Dela Rosa said the administrative case against the group was resolved in their favor so there was nothing wrong with their reinstatement despite pending criminal charges.
The officers "can be utilized again by the PNP for whatever assignment" once their suspension is lifted and they are reinstated to their mother unit, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Dela Rosa said.
Two Senate panels and the National Bureau of Investigation earlier said in separate reports that Espinosa's killing was "premeditated" by the police to cover up their involvement in the illegal drug activities of the mayor.
The slain mayor's son Kerwin, who confessed to being a drug dealer in the region, testified during a Senate inquiry that Marcos was on his payroll -- an allegation that the officer tearfully denied.
The Department of Justice however saw no premeditation in the killing and has downgraded the charges against the policemen to homicide from murder.