Saturday July 21, 2018

PNP: Duterte free to pardon cops tagged in Espinosa slay

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald Dela Rosa admitted Monday that he cannot stop President Rodrigo Duterte from pardoning the police officers involved in the killing of former Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.

"Basta dinaan namin sa due process...Ang papel namin ay i-prosecute ang wrongdoings at ang papel niya ay i-pardon those he (Duterte) thinks were doing their duty," Dela Rosa said.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he will grant pardon, bring back to police service and even promote Superintendent Marvin Marcos and his group composed of 18 cops mostly from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 8 if they will prove to him that they were following his orders to kill drug lords in the country as part of the administration's war on drugs.

On November 5, Espinosa was killed inside his detention cell in Baybay sub-provincial jail while operatives were serving him search warrant for allegedly possessing firearms and for continuously selling illegal drugs while in jail.

The operation also resulted in the killing of inmate Raul Yap.

Chief Inspector Leo Laraga, the operation's team leader, admitted during a Senate hearing that he shot Espinosa, claiming it was for self-defense as the former mayor tried to fired shots at him.

However, on the joint report of the Senate committees on public order and dangerous drugs and justice and human rights released on March 12, it said the killing of Espinosa was “premeditated” by those who conducted the operation.

Marcos and his group are facing charges of multiple murder, robbery, malicious procurement of search warrant, perjury and planting of evidence under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act,.

They were arrested and detained at the CIDG Region 8 custodial center following the order of Baybay Regional Trial Court Judge Carlos Arguelles. (SunStar Philippines)