Crime will not pay in Espinosa murder


There were some confusing signals at first. But then sanity and due process prevailed.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday declared that he still believes the version of the Eastern Visayas police in the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa.

Duterte made the remark after a Senate joint committee report submitted its finding that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Region 8 operatives killed Espinosa with premeditation, in an attempt to cover up their involvement in illegal drug trafficking in East Visayas.

Duterte said: “If it’s done in the performance of duty, I said I support them. I will believe the police more than other people.”

The President’s words are unfortunate. What is fortunate is that they have not been allowed to prevail over the process of justice. In the end, they hardly seemed to matter.

Without regard to DU30’s words, a court issued a warrant of arrest against Supt. Marvin Marcos and 19 other police officers involved in the death of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.

Also, with little fuss over what DU 30 said, the warrant will be duly served and executed; and the accused policemen, who are all already in custody, will be formally arrested and forthwith readied for formal trial.

We cannot emphasize enough the great importance of this development to the integrity of our system of criminal justice and the independence of the judiciary in our country. This signifies that the system truly works. And the contrary wishes of the President, if true, may not deter or change the process.

The dead mayor will have his due. And the accused policemen must undergo the rigors of trial, and defend themselves as best they can.

This is the final process that the nation needs to see successfully prosecuted and concluded.

We hope together with many of our people that the President will learn to respect this action of our justice system. He should take note that what precipitated the commission of this crime was the attempt of the accused policemen to hide their complicity in the traffic of illegal drugs. As such, the accused were among the suspects who were being targeted by the war on illegal drugs. In that case, he should not be unhappy about the turn of events.

Secondly, this should also encourage the President to review and withdraw his blanket promise to policemen that he would protect them if they are indicted for committing in a crime while executing a lawful order in connection with the drug war. The promise was misguided and invites abuse

We should also remember that the Espinosa murder has been investigated extensively by several probing bodies, and their common conclusion was that police operatives of PNP CIDG-8 committed the crime.

Highly prominent was the investigation conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI),which was the first to return a conclusion finding that Espinosa’s killing was a rub-out.

We are also pleased to note the professional and firm manner with which PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa is handling the arrest warrant. Instead of waiting for instructions from DU30, he has moved to have the warrants served. And he announced to the media that the warrants were issued during the weekend.

These indications of normality in the justice system are a big plus for the campaign for law and order, and reform of our system of criminal justice.

We have a lot to do before we can be satisfied. But we should be pleased and encouraged that the various parts of our justice system are beginning to work, and our police and justice officials are determined to make them work.

Given this, we can now hope that the late Mayor Rolando Espinosa, who died in an alleged shootout on November 5, 2016, inside a jail cell, will get his measure of justice.

We can also begin to hope that corruption and abuse inside the national police will be stopped and corrected.

It has taken a lot of time and effort, but at long last, the nation is seeing an end to its anguish over the sensational killing of a former mayor inside a city prison. In this one, crime will not pay.


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  1. Nelson Bania on

    For the past six years both the Espinosas and those police scalawags have been trafficking illegal drugs and making hundreds of millions with the blessings of former President Benigno Aquino 3rd, former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas and former Justice Secretary Leila De Lima. If Roxas won the presidency the Espinosas and the police scalawags would still be in the narco business. Thank God Duterte won so now Kerwin Espinosa is behind bars, Mayor Espinosa has been killed by his narco police gang mates, and the narco policemen are under arrest.

  2. Analysis: *Only regarding Police and no one else (i.e. not Espinosa) in response to Duterte’s “protection”*

    Duterte’s official orders (as opposed to his opinion) were for Police to have zero tolerance on drugs and criminality, shoot if suspects violently resist arrest. Correct me if I’m wrong here but it’s pretty much ordering these drug-related suspected Officers to arrest themselves.. or kill themselves if they themselves resist arrest.

    Imagine Duterte telling only one person, ie. one Police Officer – “Zero tolerance and if the suspect resist violently, shoot and shoot to kill.” So now this Officer who is also now a drug suspect, must either arrest himself or if he resists, must kill himself… all this hypothetical madness with a so-called “blanket protection” from the president.

    Despite Duterte’s opinion, his orders are what the Officers are sworn to follow. Despite Duterte’s orders, even a president doesn’t have the power to stop a man who decides to kill himself. A smart promise from a wise leader to protect innocent law abiding Police enforcers while at the same time ensuring justice prevails against corrupt pigs.

  3. Apparently Mayor Espinosa’s cold blood murder led by reactivated police officer Marcos is may be a drug related vendetta. Marcos et. al got their sweet revenge and Duterte is just being professional in keeping their needed support in exchange of a job well done-ferreted narco info and a kill. Let internal purgings take course within the narco trade and then dispose off the emerging survivor later. Duterte is a lawyer who knows that justice should prevail proving crime does not pay.

    • Waiting for Duterte to focus on the pork barrel thieves still in congress namely the senators that Aquino and De Lima protected.

      20 senators on the Napoles list stole p10 billion
      Only 3 opposition senators arrested

      What about the other 17 senators ?

      Nothing will change unless they remove the corrupt lawmakers who so far are apparently above the law.

  4. There is a very clear message from the words of the president,when he said he still believes in the version of the police in the murder of Mayor Espinosa. He said time and again, if there is any proof of wrong doing by the police, these should be filed in court, which the investigators did. The message is for the judiciary to perform its duty and not be pressured even if it is coming from the highest office of the land.

    • Jose Samilin on

      Well said. Though, many in the media, both local and foreign and other Du30’s detractors have intently thwarted that.

  5. Ang justice system ng Pilipinas ay BULOK at Corruptible, kaya yung mga masasamang tao ay nakakagawa pa ng masama at yung nagpapatupad ng batas ay nadidismaya. Kung matapang lang mga hukom natin at ginagawa talaga nila mga trabaho nila, NABAWASAN na sana mga masasamang Politiko, masasamang tao at maiiwasan ang maging corrupt mga opisyales ng gobyerno.

  6. florendo abad on

    May this event wake up the president senses that he is not above the LAW. and to all the presidents men and avid followers to realized even he has the goodwill to stop DRUGS and Criminality there must be a better and legal way to accomplished his promised.

  7. There were some confusing signals at first.
    The only one confused is Duterte.

    Good first step but there is a long way to go.

    Will these murderers be granted a bail ?
    Will the trial be stalled for the next 10 years ?
    Any chance of a conviction with the current justice system that is known for incompetence and corruption ?

    Most likely the accused will be granted bail and not see a trial for years.
    Premeditated murder should sit in jail without bail until conviction or found innocent.

    Let’s hope the justice system doesn’t do it’s usual incompetent and make no sense at all job and surprise no one.

  8. This Mayor Espinosa is guilty as hell. Let us not make him a hero. What is troubling to me is Marcos and the group was release 10 days before the murder of Espinosa by Duterte himself. Then the murder. Who instructed Marcos to kill Espinosa ? Who else but the person that relived them and activated their status.

    • Jose Samilin on

      The standing order of Du30 is to kill the criminal if your life is put in great danger (nanlaban). Hence, to implicate Du30 who ordered Marcos to kill Mayor Espinosa (EJK) and preempt court decision is dubious.

    • The standing order of Du30 is to kill the criminal if your life is put in great danger
      That’s the new standing order.

      The old standing order was
      “If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”

      Duterte also said
      He said he would issue shoot-to-kill orders to the security services and offer them bounties for the bodies of drug dealers. He also urged ordinary Filipinos to kill suspected criminals.

      Apparently you can say anything you want in the Philippines, No one will remember it a month later.