Manila Bulletin

President admits he called ‘Bato’ to keep Marcos


President Duterte admitted last night that it was he who told Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, DirectorGe­neral Ronald dela Rosa, through a phone conversati­on, not to remove Superinten­dent Marvin Marcos as head of the Criminal Investigat­ion and Detection Group in Region 8 (CIDG-8) despite being tagged by drug kingpin Kerwin Espinosa as one of the PNP officials in his “protection” payroll.

The Chief Executive likewise said that his top aide, Christophe­r “Bong” Go, indeed called Dela Rosa but it was upon his instructio­n.

“Ganito ’yan, si Bong in-orderan ko, call. By the time pinasa niya, ang sumagot si Dela Rosa (Here’s how it went, I ordered Bong to make the call. By the time Dela Rosa answered, he passed it [the phone to me]),” said Duterte in an interview by CNN Philippine­s.

The President said he then told the PNP Chief not to remove Marcos as they were still in the process of building up a case against police officials involved in the illicit drug trade.

He stressed that their efforts will be wasted if Marcos is relieved.

“Sabi ko, do not remove the guy because kasali ’yan sa… (I said, do not remove the guy [Marcos] because he’s included in the…) I am doing an investigat­ive job,” said Duterte who also defended Chief Supt. Asher Dolina, the police director for Eastern Visayas in 2015.

“Natapos na ’yun... si Dolina was cleared. Marcos, positive; kasi I was keeping track of his movements. Alisin mo ako doon, mawala bigla ang… Mawala lahat. Hindi ko masundan (That’s finished… Dolina was cleared. Marcos, positive; because I was keeping track of his movements. You suddenly take one out of the equation, everything will be lost. I won’t be able to trace them),” the President said.

When asked what will happen to Marcos now that he is saying that the said police official is “positive” apparently of links to the drug trade, Duterte said: “He (Marcos) has to face the charges. But ngayon, pwede nang (But now, it can be [told])… Let him maintain the right to be heard.”

Earlier, in a speech during the graduation ceremony of the Motorcyle Riding Course (MCRC) Class 06-2016, Duterte cleared Go of allegation­s that he was the one who sought the reinstatem­ent of Marcos as claimed by Senator Leila de Lima.

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