THE killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. inside his cell at the Baybay City sub-provincial jail was premeditated and members of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Region 8 should be held liable for it, a Senate report said.
The committees on public order and dangerous drugs and justice and human rights that investigated Espinosa’s slay concluded that operatives of the CIDG led by Supt. Marvin Marcos abused their authority.
In a 34-page report, the joint committees said that there was a systematic “clean up” of individuals involved in the Espinosa drug trade.
Apart from the mayor who was killed in November 2016, other drug suspects reportedly linked to the Espinosa drug operation such as Edgar Allan Alvarez and Fernando Balagbis also suffered the same fate.
Alvarez was killed inside the Abuyog Penal Colony in Leyte on August 11 after a group of police also led by Marcos raided his cell by virtue of a search warrant.
Balagbis was also killed in jail when he resisted and assaulted the police who raided his jail cell.
The report took notice of the death of Espinosa, Alvarez and Balagbis that were made under similar circumstances.
“The odds of being killed by the PNP while detained inside a government detention facility seemed to be very unlikely, until now. Further, it is unbelievable that such similar fate would befall on personalities involved in Kerwin Espinosa’s drug tcrade,” the report stated referring to the son of the slain mayor.
The committee also said that President Rodrigo Duterte should refrain from micro-managing the affairs of the government and allow his appointees to do their work.
The report cited the incident when PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa ordered the relief of Marcos and his men including Supt. Noel Matira and Chief Insp. Leo Laraga who were recalled by the President himself.
“In so far as the organizational and operational aspect of the PNP is concerned, the Chief should be given full authority and control on how he will manage the day-to-day affairs of the organization subject to limitations set by law,” the report stated.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate public order committee will present the committee report in plenary this week.