“I DO NOT INTERFERE WITH THE AFFAIRS OF THE POLICE”
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go tagged as “pure hearsay” a claim by Senator Leila de Lima that he ordered the reinstatement of a police officer linked to the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa.
De Lima’s allegation is “pure hearsay and unsubstantiated,” said Go, Special Assistant of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa had relieved Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Region 8 (CIDG-8) Chief Supt. Marvin Marcos, after the Albuera mayor was killed during an alleged shoot-out inside the Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail in Baybay town on November 5.
Mayor Espinosa, detained at the jail on illegal firearms and drugs charge, reportedly traded fire with operatives of the CIDG who were to serve a warrant of arrest for illegal firearms issued by a court.
The PNP is investigating the incident which happened as the police, on orders of President Duterte, launched a bloody campaign against illegal drugs that have already killed thousands of suspects.
Responding to media query about Marcos’ reinstatement, Dela Rosa, without giving a name, said a higher official, “a kumpadre from Malacanang,” had called him to have Marcos installed back to his CIDG post. But he adds that Marcos’ reinstatement was his own decision and not influenced by anybody.
Firing a bombshell, De Lima named Go as the official who sought Marcos’ reinstatement from Dela Rosa. But she admits having no first-hand information on Go exerting influence on Dela Rosa.
Let them deny that. I’m not the source. I’m just quoting the source, De Lima said.
“I did not ask General Bato to reinstate him. I also do not interfere with the affairs and functions of the PNP,” Go said in a a report on CNN Philippines. Go said he has never met Marcos and does not know the police officer.
Marcos was relieved from his post after leading the CIDG-8 unit that killed Mayor Espinosa. He is also among the policemen who allegedly received drug money from Espinosa’s son, alleged drug lord Kerwin.
Dela Rosa has taken full responsibility for Marcos’ reinstatement.
I may be hanged or praised for my decision. I will accept everything. It was my own decision to reinstate Marcos, Dela Rosa said.
Explaining his decision, Dela Rosa said he is giving Marcos and other police officers the “benefit of the doubt” while they are under investigation for the killing of Mayor Espinosa and for allegations of involvement in illegal drugs.
De Lima said Go is the most influential man in Malacanang.
Prior to his Malacanang post, Go was for nearly two decades, the chief executive officer of then Mayor Duterte.
He knows many secrets of Duterte, said De Lima, who had probed when she was chair of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) during the Arroyo administration, Duterte’s alleged links to the Davao Death Squad (DDS) blamed for summary execution of hundreds of suspected criminals during Duterte’s term as Davao City mayor.
De Lima picking on Go comes as she is being investigated by the Senate and the House of Representatives for her alleged links big-time drug lords incarcerated at the National Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Witnesses have tagged Ronnie Dayan, De Lima’s lover and bodyguard, to have dought drug money from drug lords for campaign funds for her senatorial bid in the 2016 election.
A tsunami of charges have been filed or being prepared against De Lima including disbarment as a lawyer by the Supreme Court, involvement in the illegal drugs trade, expulsion from Senate and immorality for admitting her illicit relations with lover Dayan.