With the revelation by Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, that there is a “smoking gun” to pin down the killers of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, the nation will see that the way is now clear for the solution and disposition of the Espinosa case.
At the close of an executive session of his committee, Senator Lacson disclosed to media that evidence exists to support the earlier findings of Senate investigators that the death of Espinosa was a premeditated act by operatives from the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Region 8.
Lacson described the evidence as a ”smoking gun” that would pin down Espinosa’s killers – the operatives who claimed they were there to serve a search warrant on the mayor who fought them with a gun.
The sensator said: “The smoking gun in the legislative inquiry (in the Senate), is that their (CDIG operatives) time of entry was at 4:30 a.m.
“The twist here is that, based on the CCTV (closed-circuit television) in the DPWH office at the time, the CDIG team entered at 3:05 a.m. to 3:06 a.m. But their (CIDG Region 8 chief Supt. Marvin Marcos) purpose for saying that they came in at 4:30 a.m., was to cover up the truth and instead of giving the correct time of arrival, they changed the time. They certainly had a malevolent reason for changing the timeline.
When combined with the findings of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Lacson’s smoking gun could clinch the case for a speedy solution of the Espinosa case and the filing of cases against the perpetrators of the killing.
This smoking gun could totally shatter the story being told by the CIDG team that Espinosa, while detained at the Baybay provincial jail, was reported by an informant to CIDG to be allegedly keeping a gun in his cell, and that Espinosa put up a fight which prompted the policemen to fire back at him.
Senator Lacson indicated that there is need to conduct a closed-door session attended by NBI, PNP officials as well as Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, because there are some classified matters that need to be discussed and clarified by his committee, which is investigating the Espinosa case jointly with the committee on justice and human rights chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon. If so, the session should be held soonest.
Lacson also bared that they are wrapping up the Senate inquiry so they can start preparing the committee report and report it out on the floor in January.
“We submit to the NBI, since its investigation is exhaustive and more complete but just the same the conclusions are the same,” he said.
As this development took place at the Senate, the Department of Justice (DOJ) formally asked police officials suspected of involvement in the murder of Mayor Espinosa and another inmate to appear before DOJ prosecutors next week.
Subpoenas were issued to the policemen to answer the multiple murder and perjury complaints filed against them by the NBI for the deaths of Espinosa and fellow inmate Raul Yap.
The five-member panel of prosecutors, chaired by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Lilian Doris Alejo, set the preliminary investigation for December 20, 2016 and January 8, 2017, 10 a.m., at the DoJ Multi-purpose Hall.
The heart of the case is to be found in the NBI’s findings on the Espinosa case.
.The NBI said Espinosa and Yap were killed in a rubout and not a shootout as claimed by the policemen.
Said the agency: “There was unison in their purpose and action, signifying that they were all moved by a single criminal intent.”