Sen. Leila de Lima said it was an “open secret” among PNP officials that it was the always-conspicuous Christopher “Bong” Go who called up Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa to ask for the reinstatement of Marcos.
Senate PRIB Cesar Tomambo
Who asked for reinstatement of CIDG’s Marcos?
SO...CHISMIS ITOH!? - Giovanni Nilles, , Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) - December 2, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Leila de Lima said yesterday presidential aide Christopher “Bong” Go was the “higher authority” who asked Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa to reinstate Supt. Marvin Marcos after being relieved for the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa.

But Go immediately denied this in a statement, describing De Lima’s accusation as “pure hearsay and unsubstantiated.”

Dela Rosa, meanwhile, owned up to Marcos’ reinstatement as his own decision, saying it was for “humanitarian reason.” But he still refused to identify the person who called him to request Marcos’ reinstatement, this time referring to the caller – whom he earlier described as a higher-up – only as his “kumpare” (close friend).

De Lima said it was an “open secret” among PNP officials that it was the always-conspicuous Go who called up Dela Rosa to ask for the reinstatement of Marcos. 

Dela Rosa recently admitted that he got a call from a “kumpare,” whom he described as a higher authority, asking him to reinstate the controversial police officer. 

The PNP chief declined to name the official, but said he is willing to tell the members of Congress in an executive session.

De Lima said many officers of the PNP were aware of that request from Go, which led to a great deal of discontent in the organization. 

“Some of the PNP officials were upset that the hierarchy of the PNP was bypassed when Marcos was reinstated, without clearing it with them or without asking them. Even the CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) head, I think, never knew about it,” De Lima said. 

Marcos, the regional director of the CIDG Region 8, was part of the raiding team that forcibly entered the Leyte sub-provincial jail to allegedly serve a search warrant on Espinosa. 

Espinosa and another inmate linked to illegal drugs were killed by members of the raiding team in what several senators concluded was a rubout. 

Dela Rosa relieved Marcos and the rest of the raiding team while investigations on the incident were being conducted. 

De Lima said Dela Rosa could have declined the request, since he had a valid reason for relieving Marcos from his post. 

She said both Go and Dela Rosa could be held liable for abuse of authority and conduct prejudicial to the interest of service for the questionable reinstatement of Marcos. 

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who spearheaded the Senate inquiry into the killing of Espinosa, emphasized that Dela Rosa, as PNP chief, is ultimately responsible for all assignments and designations of police officers, “being the one making the decision, unless he was ordered to do so by a higher authority.” 

“That is the essence of the principle of command responsibility,” said Lacson, a former PNP chief.

Pure hearsay 

Go, special assistant to the president, vehemently denied yesterday allegations he was behind the reinstatement into service of the former CIDG Region 8 director.

“The allegations are pure hearsay and unsubstantiated,” Go said in a statement. “I cannot recall having met former CIDG Region 8 head Supt. Marcos and I don’t know him personally.”

Go is now in Davao, as the President is there for a series of engagements.

“I did not ask General Bato to reinstate him,” Go insisted. “I also do not interfere with the affairs and functions of the PNP.”

Marcos was with the CIDG team that raided and killed self-confessed drug trader Kerwin Espinosa’s father, Albuera town mayor Rolando Sr.

The young Espinosa named Marcos as among those who received money from him to protect his illegal activity.

Espinosa said he had given Marcos as much as P3 million as contribution for the campaign of the police officer’s wife, who ran for vice mayor in the last May 9 polls but lost.

Most-trusted aide

Go, 42, has long been the closest and most-trusted aide of the President, even when he was still mayor of Davao City in 1998.

Go has been considered as the gateway to the President, as everything passes through him, including appointments for those who want to seek an audience with Duterte. 

Although he is always seen beside Duterte in the President’s engagements, Go has managed to keep a low profile, discharging his functions without fanfare. 

When Duterte won in the May 9 presidential polls, the President issued his Executive Order No. 1, creating the Office of the President-Events Management Cluster (OP-EMC) to “ensure effective collaboration among the offices and/or units involved in the preparations for and the management of presidential engagements.”

Duterte appointed Go as head of the OP-EMC, aside from having supervision over the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) and the Office of the Appointments Secretary.

SEN. LEILA DE LIMA
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