Saturday July 21, 2018

DOJ downgrades charges vs Espinosa slay suspects

THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has downgraded from murder to homicide the criminal information filed against the policemen accused of conspiring to kill Albuera, Leyte mayor Rolando Espinosa in his cell at the Leyte sub-provincial jail last November.

The DOJ's action on the petition for review filed by the camp of accused led by Police Superintendent Marvin Marcos was made known after the Leyte prosecutors filed on June 6 a motion with the Baybay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 14 to amend the criminal information filed against Marcos and 18 others for murder and file instead an amended information for homicide.

Leyte Provincial Prosecutor Ma. Arlene Hunamayor-Cordovez in the motion stated that she received a copy of the DOJ resolution on June 2 that resolved to dismiss the complaint for murder filed against the accused.

"Wherefore, it is respectfully prayed of this Honorable Court to recognize and give weight to the said resolution on the petition for review before the [Department of Justice], and after due hearing, grant leave for the prosecution to amend and downgrade the information for murder to homicide in these cases and admit the necessary informations for homicide," the motion read.

The DOJ has yet to release a copy of its resolution on the matter and answer why it lowered the case of the policemen to homicide, a bailable offense.

Espinosa and his fellow inmate Raul Yap were killed at their cells inside the Leyte Sub Provincial jail by policemen serving search warrants for their alleged possession of drugs and firearms, respectively.

An earlier resolution of the DOJ said that the Region 8 Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) police planned the killing of the two last November 5.

"The killings are qualified by evidence premeditation since the attack was well planned. The records will show that respondents craftily executed the killings under the pretense of implementing a search warrant,” the resolution released last March stated.

The accused policemen are now detained at the CIDG detention facility in Tacloban City. (SunStar Philippines)