MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte won’t let a Marcos down especially when the latter is a police officer who the chief executive thinks is just doing his job.
On Wednesday, July 12, Duterte again took the cudgels for Police Supt. Marvin Wynn Marcos, reiterating his promise that he would protect authorities killing people in the line of duty.
He said he had asked that Marcos, among those accused in the November 5, 2016 slay of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Jr., be reinstated amid the criminal charges he’s facing, which was downgraded by the court last month from murder to homicide.
“But sinabi ko [I said] and in front of public, I will never, never allow a military man, a government man, a policeman na makukulong [to be jailed] for doing his duty and obeying my order,” Duterte said in a speech at Camp Crame in Quezon City during the celebration of the 26th anniversary of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
“Hindi talaga ako papayag. Magdemanda na kayo kung ano inyong demanda. Eh ngayon si Marcos, suspended. O eh de suspended s’ya. Tapos, tapos na ang suspension [I will not allow it. File whatever case you want to file. Now, Marcos is suspended. So he was suspended. And then, the suspension is now over],” he said.
“Sabi ko ibalik ninyo sa trabaho ‘yang mama na ‘yan. Wala naman doon ‘yan eh [I said reinstate that man in the police force. He wasn’t there]. He was too far away…He was not part of the raiding team.”
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) earlier filed multiple murder and perjury cases against Marcos and 23 other members of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation (PNP-CIDG) and Detection Group in Region 8 in connection with the slay of Espinosa and fellow inmate Raul Yap while they were detained at the Baybay Provincial Jail in Leyte.
The NBI said its forensic findings were consistent with testimonial evidence that the killings were premeditated and that the victims were defenseless when they were slain.
Espinosa was allegedly among the biggest drug lords in Eastern Visayas. His son, Kerwin Espinosa, also a suspected drug lord, testified in the Senate last November that he gave P8 million to Sen. Leila de Lima for her 2016 senatorial campaign through the lawmaker’s former driver and partner Ronnie Dayan.
Marcos and his team were able to walk out of prison last month after the Baybay City Regional Trial Court Branch 14 granted their plea to downgrade the charges against them.
Ready to grant him pardon
On Wednesday, Duterte said he would be ready to grant pardon to Marcos and bring him back to the PNP if ever the court finds him guilty.
The President said it would be unfair if criminals are accorded presumption of innocence and right of defense but not police officers like Marcos.
“Sabi nila, may kaso. And so? ‘Yong kriminal, put*ng in*, sabihin mo presumption of innocence, ang gobyerno hindi mo…[They said a case was filed against a police officer. And then, mother f*cker, you say that a criminal has presumption of innocence but those in government are not accorded the same rights]?,” Duterte said.
“What is sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose. ‘Yong prisoner na Pilipino, ito namang opisyal na pulis Pilipino. Bakit ibahin mo ang sitwasyon [The prisoner and the police officer are both Filipinos. Why will you make their situations different from each other]?”
“Sabi ko, sige, convicted ‘yan. Eh ’di i-convict mo, murder…Pag basa, ‘You are sentenced…’ You are also pardoned and restored of… [I said, okay, he is convicted. So convict him with murder…After reading, ‘You are sentenced…’ You are also pardoned and restored of…],” the President added.
Reinstated the same day Marcos was terminated
On December 5, 2016 PNP chief Gen. Ronald Dela Rosa, during a Senate hearing, testified that in mid-October of the same year, he had sacked Marcos as chief of the PNP-CIDG in Region 8 after Kerwin Espinosa told authorities that Marcos was allegedly a recipient of drug money.
But on the same day that he was terminated, Marcos was ordered reinstated by Duterte.
The chief executive, also last December, admitted ordering Dela Rosa to reinstate Marcos. He said he had told the PNP chief via a phone call to “not remove the guy (Marcos)” because the latter was part of an “investigative job” that Duterte was doing.
November 5, weeks after Marcos was supposedly terminated, Mayor Espinosa was killed inside his detention cell.
Marcos is related to late President Ferdinand Marcos. Anastacio, Marvin’s great great grandfather on his mother’s side, was the brother of Mariano Marcos, the father of Ferdinand. Anastacio’s real name was Fabian, but he changed it to avoid being identified because he was a member of a group supporting an uprising led by Philippine Independent Church founder Gregorio Aglipay against the Catholic Church.
Marvin’s father, Teodoro Candon, was the son of Theodore Candon, an American soldier. But Marvin, in an earlier media interview, said he never met his father and that what he is using now is the family name of his mother, though his birth certificate reflected the family name of his father.