Policemen involved in the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. should not go scot-free despite their return to full-duty status as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte, given homicide charges filed against them, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Friday.
In a news briefing, PNP spokesman Sr. Supt. Dionardo Carlos clarified that Supt. Marvin Marcos and 18 other policemen would still face a criminal case in connection with the killing of Espinosa and inmate Raul Yap even if their administrative case was dismissed by the PNP Internal Affairs Service, prompting the President to endorse their return to service.
“Let me just clarify, because some thought that the policemen’s case has ended. They will still face a homicide case because of [the killing of]Mayor Espinosa and Yap,” Carlos told reporters.
In November 2016, Espinosa and Yap were killed during a dawn jail raid inside the Baybay City Jail while Marcos was still heading the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Eastern Visayas.
Espinosa was among the “narco-politicians” included in Duterte’s drug watch list, which resulted in his arrest.
In June, the Department of Justice downgraded the charges against Marcos and the 18 others from murder to the bailable offense of homicide.
Marcos and his men’s return to service was announced by President Duterte in his remarks during the 26th anniversary of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Camp Aguinaldo on Wednesday.
Several senators have condemned the reinstatement of Marcos and his men.
Malacañang on Friday vowed to cooperate with a planned Senate investigation into the decision.
“The government, through the PNP, will cooperate with any investigation,” Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said during a news conference.
with CATHERINE S. VALENTE