Duterte on cops in Espinosa killing: I won't allow them to go to prison

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte is keeping his promise to protect his men.

He says he won't allow the policemen behind the death of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa to go behind bars.

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

Investigators from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) ruled Espinosa was killed in a rubout – not in a shootout, as what the police raiding team claims.

Read: NBI: Espinosa killing a rubout

But as fas as the President is concerned, he believes the version of the police.

He said, "May findings sila? Good. File-an ng kaso. Pero hindi ko pabayaan ang itong mga pulis kasi ako ang may utos, eh."

[Translation: They have findings? Good. File a case. But I will not abandon these cops because they are under my orders.]

But Duterte clarifies he won't interfere with the Justice department's investigation.

"I will not allow these guys to go to prison maski na sabihin ng NBI na murder. Tutal, under ko man ang NBI. Under ko rin iyan e, Department of Justice. But I have to tell you I do not interfere," the President said.

[Translation: I will not allow these guys to go to prison even if the NBI says it was murder. Besides, the NBI is under me. The Department of Justice is under me as well. But I have to tell you I do not interfere.]

But he says he will not abandon them as well.

The NBI has charged 24 Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Region 8 (CIDG-8) officials and personnel including Supt. Marvin Wynn Marcos.

In an exclusive interview with CNN Philippines, the President admitted he was the one who ordered the reinstatement of Marcos as head of CIDG-8.

Read: Duterte: I was the one who called up 'Bato' to reinstate Supt. Marcos

In his war on drugs, President Duterte says he alone will be responsible for all his decisions.