• Lacson expects no whitewash in Espinosa probe

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    SENATOR Panfilo Lacson believes that the Philippine National Police (PNP) can carry out a credible investigation into the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa in his jail cell.

    Lacson, who heads the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, expressed confidence that there will be no whitewash in the investigation even with the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that he is standing by the police.

    Duterte had said that he believes the story of the raiding team that killed Espinosa and that he is willing to rot in jail for the policemen who he said were merely doing their job.

    The senator said he expects the President to change his position once he finds out that violations were committed by the police officers who killed Espinosa.

    “It’s only a matter of explaining in detail to the President what really happened in Baybay, Leyte, for him to be enlightened and come up with necessary actions,” Lacson said in a radio interview Sunday.

    The Senate last week held an inquiry into the slaying of Espinosa, and based on the testimonies of the police officers invited to the hearing, some senators came to the conclusion that the mayor’s killing was premeditated.

    Lacson said the President will likely have a change of heart once he sees the report of the PNP and the testimonies gathered during the Senate investigation.

    Asked if the position of Duterte could have an effect on the committee report that the Senate will come out with, Lacson said it is unlikely because the initial finding of the committee matches the findings of the PNP.

    “Let’s just say that it will now be a choice for the President who to believe. Will he believe the operatives of the CIDG8 or the leadership of the PNP that is also conducting its investigation on the incident?” he said, referring to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

    Lacson and several members of his committee cited inconsistencies in the testimonies of police officers involved in the operation. Senators learned during the investigation that the CIDG raiding team requested for Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) before they arrived at the Leyte sub-provincial jail where Espinosa was detained.

    PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa has ordered the relief of the police officers who were part of the raiding team, including its chief, Supt. Marvin Marcos.

    Connection
    Lacson said his committee is trying to determine the reason why the mayor was killed and if there are other personalities involved or who wanted Espinosa silenced.

    He admitted that lawmakers have several theories and speculations and these are not limited to the possible involvement of Marcos and Chief Insp. Leo Laraga, the head of the raiding team who shot and killed the mayor.

    Lacson admitted obtaining information about the supposed connection between Marcos and Kerwin Espinosa, son of the slain mayor, aside from the police official’s relative who was listed on Espinosa’s “book”.

    The name Leilani Jimenea cropped up during the Senate hearing. Based on the information obtained by senators, Jimenea was Marcos’ aunt who was allegedly receiving “payola” from the Espinosas.

    Lacson said he also got information that Marcos’ wife received campaign funds from Espinosa when she ran for vice mayor of Pastrana, Leyte.

    “I don’t know if she won, but according to reports the Espinosas made a contribution on her campaign and Supt. Marcos himself received the contribution from Espinosa,” Lacson said. Marcos, during the hearing, denied knowing the Espinosas.

    Setback
    Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Gordon sees the killing of Espinosa not only a huge setback in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs but also on efforts to encourage more witnesses to come out.

    Gordon said Espinosa’s death inside his prison cell in the wee hours of November 5 could scare off other witnesses.

    The chairman of the justice and human rights committee stressed that the mayor’s killing robbed citizens of justice because witnesses may now be afraid to come forward.

    Espinosa surrendered to the PNP in August after his name was included in a list of government officials allegedly involved in illegal drugs.

    At the time, he claimed to know some 30 lawmakers and police commanders involved in illegal drugs.

    He subsequently left police custody and returned to work, but was arrested on October 5 over illegal drug and weapons charges.

    “We were robbed of justice. He was considered a high-value target because of what he knows. But why was he detained in a facility controlled by the provincial government where some of its officials and even police officers were in his list?” Gordon said.

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    6 Comments

    1. Only the truth will save the Philippines! Nothing else. I, for one, believe that truth in that county is hard to find.

      KAAWAAWA ANG MGA MAHIHIRAP NA FILIPINO!

    2. jose b. taganahan on

      Let us see if the PNP leadership can defy the wish of the President to absolve those police murderers of the late Mayor Espinosa

    3. There has never been an investigation that was not a whitewash or coverup in the Philippines.

      The SAF 44 investigation ? Didn’t even get the cell phones from Aquino, Purisima or any others involved.

      That what happens when the senate which is composed of actors, comedians and generally incompetent government officials pretend they are investigators.

      The Philippines is hopelessly corrupt and always will be.

      Expecting anything different is delusional.

    4. Senate hearing is not a court of law that will indict the suspects. They are investigating in aid of ligislation”. I cannot see the logic in these hearings. The courts will eventually handle the case and it will take years to even make a decision then it will go court of appeals then to Supreme Court. So the event is really useless..

    5. No white wash? I believe it when I see it. Judging from the moro-moro and zarsuela of grand proportions, investigations done by Filipino authorities defy common sense. Potty mouth Duterte already indicated that he believes the story of the rogue cops who killed Espinosa. Anyone care to explain how Duterte arrived to that conclusion without even seeing a single report?

      • There will come a day when the only thing keeping Duterte in office are the police and the army.
        That is if the people want a return of their rights according to the constitution and get tired of having a police force who murder unarmed citizens..