The Department of Justice (DoJ) on Thursday downgraded criminal charges against the policemen who were implicated in the killing of Albuera (Leyte) Mayor Rolando Espinosa and another inmate in a sub-provincial jail last November 5.
The charges for murder, a non-bailable offense, were reduced to charges for homicide, which is bailable.
In documents presented by Leyte prosecutors filed on June 6, a motion with the Baybay City Regional Trial Court Branch 14 showed the DoJ’s decision to indict respondents for homicide instead.
“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 signed by Leyte Provincial Prosecutor Ma. Arlene Hunamayor-Cordovez stated.
The DoJ earlier ruled in favor of the indictment of Supt. Marvin Marcos, former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Region 8 chief, for two counts of murder.
Aside from Espinosa, another inmate at the Leyte sub-provincial jail, Raul Yap, was also shot dead by Marcos’ group.
The policemen, armed with search warrants against Espinosa and Yap, arrived at the detention facility at past 4 a.m. of November 5, 2016. They alleged that Espinosa and Yap were in possession of a firearm and illegal drugs, respectively.
In downgrading the charges, the DoJ ruled in a petition for review that the appeal filed by Marcos must be given credence in the absence of treachery and evident premeditation.
Marcos and 10 of his men–Senior Insp. Deogracia Pedong Diaz 3rd, Chief Insp. Calixto Canillas Jr., Insp.
Lucresito Candelosas, Senior Police Officers 2 Benjamin Dacallos and Antonio Docil, SPO1 Mark Christian Cadilo, PO3 Norman Abellanosa, PO2 John Ruel Doculan and Jaime Bacsal and PO1 Jerlan Cabiyaan–were charged with two counts of murder for allegedly being involved in the killing of Espinosa and Yap.
Four police officers were charged for the killing of Espinosa–Supt. Santi Noel Matira, Chief Insp. Leo Daio Laraga, SPO4 Melvin Caboyit and PO3 Johnny Abuda Ibanez.
Also four others were charged for the murder of Yap–Senior Insp. Fritz Bioco Blanco, SPO4 Juanito Duarte, PO2 Lloyd Ortiguesa and PO1 Bernard Orpilla.