Murder raps vs 19 cops in Espinosa case
THE Justice department has filed murder charges against 19 policemen for the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa and inmate Raul Yap inside a sub-provincial jail in November 2016.
In a resolution, the Justice department found probable cause to file murder charges against 19 members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, led by Supt. Marvin Marcos before the Baybay City, Leyte Regional Trial Court.
Marcos and 10 of his men were charged with two counts of murder for allegedly being involved in the killings of Espinosa and Yap.
The other accused facing two counts of murder include Senior Insp. Deogracia Pedong Diaz III, Chief Insp. Calixto Canillas Jr., Insp. Lucresito Candelosas, Senior Police Officers (SPO) 2 Benjamin Dacallos and Antonio Docil, SPO1 Mark Christian Cadilo, PO3 Norman Abellanosa, PO2 John Ruel Doculan and Jaime Bacsal, and PO 1 Jerlan Cabiyaan.
Four other police officers were charged for the murder of Espinosa—Supt. Santi Noel Matira, Chief Insp. Leo Daio Laraga, SPO4 Melvin Caboyit and PO3 Johnny Abuda Ibanez - while four others for murder of Yap - Senior Insp. Fritz Bioco Blanco, SPO4 Juanito Duarte, PO2 Lloyd Ortiguesa and PO1 Bernard Orpilla.
Abellanosa, Laraga and witness Paul Olendan were also indicted for maliciously obtaining search warrants.
The Justice department filed the case after the panel of prosecutors led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Lilian Doris Alejo found that the killings of Espinosa and Yap inside the Baybay jail were attended by treachery and the respondents used stealth to carry out the raid.
The prosecutors said the CIDG men were armed and clearly outnumbered the victims.
They was also found out that evident premeditation was also present since the attack was well planned, with the execution of the killings under the deception of implementing a search warrant.
The cases were filed in court last week.
Baybay City RTC branch 14 Judge Carlos Arguelles already issued arrest warrants against the accused last March 16.
The Justice department said all accused were already under custody of the Philippine National Police Region 8 and were undergoing booking procedures before the CIDG regional unit where they surrendered.
“Upon completion of the booking procedure, which include fingerprinting, documentation, mugshot and medical examination, the warrants of arrest will be returned to the RTC Branch 14, and a corresponding commitment order is expected to be issued by the court for the custody of the respondents,” the DoJ said in a statement.
The DoJ filed the case upon receiving a complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation and Espinosa’s son Kerwin, a confessed drug lord now under government custody.
Citing testimonial and forensic evidence, the bureau alleged that Espinosa and Yap were killed in a rub-out and not a shootout as claimed by the policemen who conducted the raid.
During preliminary investigation hearings, the respondents denied conspiring to kill Espinosa and Yap and insisted on their claim that they only defended themselves from the two detainees at the Baybay City sub-provincial jail who opened fire on them while they were serving search warrants.
Aside from the criminal cases, the group led by Marcos is also facing administrative cases. With Francisco Tuyay