De Lima: Duterte aide Bong Go called 'Bato' to reinstate CIDG-8 chief

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Special Assistant to the President Bong Go

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte's trusted man, Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go, is accused of ordering the reinstatement of a police official linked to the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa and to the illegal drug trade.

Read: Albuera Mayor Espinosa, 1 other inmate killed in jail cell shootout – CIDG

Senator Leila de Lima on Thursday said it was Go who called PNP Chief Ronald dela Rosa, asking him to recall the relief of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Region 8 (CIDG-8) Chief Supt. Marvin Marcos.

"Bong Go. Let them deny that. If they deny, okay. Hindi naman ako ang source [I'm not the source], I'm just quoting the source," De Lima said.

Go, however, was quick to dismiss De Lima's allegations as "pure hearsay and unsubstantiated."

"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 text message.

Go said he does not know and has not met with Marcos.

Marcos was relieved from his post after leading the CIDG-8 unit that killed Mayor Espinosa after a supposed shoot-out inside the Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail in Baybay town on November 5. He is also among the policemen who allegedly received drug money from Espinosa's son, alleged drug lord Kerwin.

Dela Rosa earlier said he recalled Marcos' relief order after he received a phone call from his "kumpare [friend] from Malacañang."

Dela Rosa on Thursday took full responsibility for Marcos' reinstatement.

"I may be hanged or praised (for) my decision, tanggapin ko lahat [I will accept everything]. That's my own decision, my own volition to reinstate them," Dela Rosa told reporters after earlier declaring that the entire country is under terror alert level 3. 

He said he is giving Marcos and other police the "benefit of the doubt" while they're under investigation for Espinosa's slay, and for illegal drug trade allegations.

Dela Rosa also said he could not have received the order from President Duterte himself, because Duterte is his ninong [godfather], not kumpare.

CNN Philippines' Gerg Cahiles and Eimor P. Santos contributed to this report.