Malacañang dismissed as “huge fantasies” the latest allegations by Senator Antonio Trillanes 4th against President Rodrigo Duterte.
Trillanes, during a weekly forum in the Senate on Thursday, said it was Duterte who ordered the downgrading of criminal charges against the policemen involved in the death of Mayor Rolando Espinosa of Albuera, Leyte.
“When he said that the Senator seemed to be out of tune and not reflective of the times,” Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella told reporters during a press conference.
He also dismissed Trillanes’ claim that a so-called “Philippine Death Squad” composed of active police members was organized under the Duterte administration to carry out extrajudicial killings in the country.
“I think [Trillanes’] interview just summarized everything that he is. You know, he seems to be really given to his huge fantasies,” Abella added.
Trillanes, a staunch critic of the President, noted Duterte’s previous admission that he had ordered Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa to reinstate Superintendent Marvin Marcos, despite the Leyte police official’s alleged involvement in illegal drugs.
Marcos, former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Region 8 director, was one of the policemen charged for the killings of Espinosa and a fellow inmate while inside their detention cell at the Baybay, Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail in November 2016.
Recently, the Department of Justice (DOJ) downgraded the cases against these policemen from murder to homicide.
Duterte has repeatedly said that he would pardon the policemen behind the mayor’s slay.
Several senators have expressed disappointment over the DOJ’s decision, with Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd calling for the reopening of the investigation on Espinosa’s death.
The minority bloc is set to file a resolution denouncing the downgrade of charges, while at least one member, Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th, has filed a separate resolution asking Justice Vitaliano Aguirre to explain his position.