JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has cleared himself on the recent decision of the Department of Justice (DOJ) downgrading the charges filed against the policemen involved in the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa last November.
In a statement on Wednesday, Aguirre said he was not the one who resolved the petition for review filed by the suspects in the case led Supt. Marvin Marcos.
"I did not have any hand in the drafting of the resolution being referred to by some Senators. I was not the one who resolved the matter. I was not the one who wrote it. I was not the one who signed it," Aguirre said.
In a resolution dated May 29, the DOJ, through Justice Undersecretary Reynante Orceo, partially granted the suspects' petition for review, after it downgraded the charges against the 19 cops accused from murder to a bailable offense homicide.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, the chair of Senate committee on public order, on Tuesday urged his colleagues to denounce the DOJ's resolution.
Lacson's committee earlier recommended the filing of charges of murder against the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 8 raiding team for killing Espinosa and another inmate Raul Yap.
The minority bloc also said they will move for the filing of a resolution concerning the DOJ's decision.
Justice Undersecretary Erickson Balmes said Aguirre will appear before the Senate once the probe begins.
"If invited to appear before the Senate, SoJ will appear out of respect for a co-equal branch of government and of a distinguished and a hallowed institution," Balmes said.
The DOJ, in its recent decision, nullified its resolution released last March indicting the 19 CIDG cops for murder and malicious procurement of search warrant.
The resolution penned and signed by Orceo said there was no direct evidence that will prove that the cops planned the killing of Espinosa and Yap.
The DOJ said that with the absence of evidence, it was erroneous for the DOJ panel of prosecutors to conclude that the respondents "craftily" executed the killings.
The policemen involved in the killing walked free from the CIDG region 8 after posting bail last June 16. (SunStar Philippines)