TWENTY-FOUR police officers involved in a pre-dawn raid at Baybay City Jail in Leyte that resulted in the death of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa and another inmate were removed from their post on Thursday.
Director General Ronald dela Rosa, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, issued the dismissal order to the police officers on the same day the Senate began its investigation of the controversial police operation last November 5.
Dela Rosa has directed the PNP Directorate for Personnel and Records Management to immediately issue the relief order for 18 personnel of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and six members of the Regional Maritime Unit (RMU)-8.
“Let me assure everyone that there will be no whitewash in the investigation. We will ferret out the truth and slap appropriate sanctions or charges against our personnel who have committed violations,” the PNP chief said in a statement.
Espinosa was killed after he allegedly fought it out with the policemen trying to serve a search warrant inside the Baybay City Jail in Leyte where the mayor had been detained for drug-related charges.
At least 20 operatives of the CIDG, including 13 from its Eastern Visayas unit and eight personnel of the RMU-8, are under restrictive custody for their involvement in the shooting incident.
Ordered sacked from their posts were Supt. Marvin Wyn Marcos, CIDG-Region 8 chief; Supt. Santi Noel Gaspang Matira; Chief Insp. Leo Diao Laraga; Senior Insp. Eric Palattao Constantino; Senior Insp. Deogracias Pedong Diaz 3rd; Senior Insp. Fritz Bioco Blanco.
Senior Police Officer 4 Melvin Mendiola Cayobit; SPO4 Juanito Ampado Duartel; SPO2 Alphinor Milla Serrano Jr.; SPO1 Benjamin Layague Dacallos; Police Officer 3 Norman Tiu Abellanosa; PO3 Johnny Abuda Ibañez; and PO2 Neil Patrimonio Centino.
The other officers removed were PO1 Lloyd Ortinez Ortigueza, PO1 Bhernard Rodriguez Orpilla, PO1 Kristal Jane Briones Gisma, PO1 Jerlan Sadia Cabiyaan and PO1 Divine Grace Baclas Songalia.
Members of the RMU-8 who were sacked were Chief Insp. Calixto Cabardo Canillas Jr., Insp. Lucresito Adana Candilosas, SPO2 Antonio Romangca Docil, SPO1 Mark Christian Castillo Cadilo, PO2 John Ruel Baldevia Doculan and PO2 Jaime Pacuan Bacsal.
They will be reassigned to the Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit in the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, in Quezon City “to face ongoing investigations” by the Internal Affairs Service and the CIDG.