MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday denied that he broke protocol when he ordered the reinstatement of a police officer accused of receiving drug pay-offs.
Duterte earlier admitted that it was he who spoke to Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald Dela Rosa to reinstate Supt. Marvin Marcos as head of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Region 8.
Duterte fended off criticisms that he reinstated Marcos despite the police allegedly receiving drug money.
“What do you mean protocol?” Duterte said at the traditional lighting of Christmas tree at the Malacañang Palace compound.
“There is no such thing as protocol. When there is absolute control and supervision, I can modify, amend, revoke any order in this executive department.”
In a Senate hearing Monday, Dela Rosa revealed that Marcos was reinstated on October 15, the same day he was sacked.
The reinstatement was also made several days before the November 5 raid at a Leyte jail, led by Marcos, which resulted in the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.
Dela Rosa’s revelation debunked earlier reports that the reinstatement occurred following the fatal raid.
Duterte said when he admitted that he ordered Marcos’ reinstatement, there were speculations that the mayor’s killing had his consent.
“They are questioning my motive. They are now assuming that maybe I knew about the operation then now ako ang nag-utos sa loob,” Duterte said. “Whatever the reason [may] be, that’s my discretion.”
In reinstating Marcos, Duterte argued that he wanted to observe the movements of the police official and determine whether the latter was indeed involved in the drug trade.
Dela Rosa said reinstating Marcos on the day of his administrative relief was unusual but he accepted it because the order came from Duterte.
"Hindi po pangkaraniwan, your honor. Actually, your honor, to be frank, nagtataka ako, your honor, but who am I to question the wisdom of the President? Meron siyang rason, your honor, which he explained later," he said.