President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday assured the public that he is not in cahoots with drug lords and that he does not receive narco-money.
The President made the declaration as he dismissed accusations that he is protecting drug lords for reinstating Supt. Marvin Marcos as head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Eastern Visayas.
“I guarantee you, there was nothing wrong with it, but I was just trying to figure out something there,” Duterte said in his speech at the awarding ceremonies for The Outstanding Young Men and Women of 2016 in Malacanang.
“There was nothing to it. Huwag kayong matakot [Don’t be afraid]. I do not receive drug money, susmaryosep,” he added.
The President explained that he is studying Marcos’ supposed involvement in illegal drugs.
“Hindi ko kasi malaman kung talagang [I still don’t know if] it was a network or just the work of one or two policemen. So I have to study more, closely,” Duterte said.
The President’s assurance came after his critics in Congress, including Sen. Leila De Lima and Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, accused him of being the country’s top drug lord for ordering Marcos’ reinstatement.
Marcos was relieved as CIDG chief following the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. in November at the Baybay, Leyte sub-provincial jail.
Philippine National Police chief Ronald Dela Rosa said someone from the Palace ordered him to reinstate Marcos.
Duterte later admitted that it was him who made the directive.
The President also vowed to continue the brutal campaign against illegal drugs despite stinging criticisms over the death of thousands of drug suspects.
“I am not a killer. I do not relish or enjoy a Filipino sprawled there with all the blood.
I cannot explain every death in this country. Pero kung sabihin mong aatras ako ditto (but if you say that I retreat from this fight), I cannot because I cannot afford it,” Duterte said. “I cannot now stop the momentum when there are four million drug addicts spread all throughout the country. I would be abandoning (my responsibility). It is a harsh one but somebody has to be crucified for it. It’s OK with me. It’s part of the territory to be disliked,” he added.