Killing of Mayor Espinosa was premeditated according to senate report

Monday March 13, 2017 ()
Espinosa

The killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. in November last year inside his cell at the Baybay City Provincial Jail was premeditated to cover up their alleged involvement in illegal drugs.

Based on the documents, jurisprudence, established procedures, testimonies and even ordinary human experience that were taken into consideration, the probe by the Senate committees on public order and dangerous drugs in joint with the committee on justice and human rights showed that operatives of the Criminal Intelligence and Detection Group (CIDG) in Region VIII committed an abuse of authority.

This is contained in the 34-page Committee Report No. 46 submitted by Senator Panfilo Lacson recently. The report, signed by 12 senators, said:

"Although the committees recognize and give due respect to the authority of the courts to determine the guilt of the police officers involved in the operation, the committees are convinced that the circumstances point out to a systematic 'clean up' made on any living trace that may reveal their involvement in the Espinosa drug trade."

The late mayor's son, Kerwin, has been identified as the alleged biggest distributor of illegal drugs in Eastern Visayas and has pointed to those who killed his father, while supposedly in the act of serving a search warrant to the mayor in his detention, as having been in his purported "payola" of drug money.

CIDG chief Supt. Marvin Marcos, Chief Insp. Leo Laraga and Supt. Santi Noel Matira were just among the numerous police officials supposedly receiving regular drug money from him.

The mayor was killed just as when Kerwin, who was arrested in Abu Dhabi after going in hiding for several months, was being processed to be deported back to the country:

"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 trade.

"The committees question not only the necessity, but also the intention of CIDG-8 in applying for and implementing the search warrants. More so, the place of application was suspicious."

Mayor Espinosa and another inmate, Raul Yap, were killed in the said operation which took place around 4 a.m. The report said:

"Assuming without granting that Mayor Espinosa and Raul Yap were in possession of firearms and illegal drugs while inside prison, Laraga should not have wasted government resources in applying for a search warrant in Basey, Samar considering that the place to be sought to be searched is a jail facility, which is not a private dwelling that comes under the protection of the right to privacy.

"On the actual implementation of the search warrants, noticeable in this operation was the use of overwhelming force by the authorities serving the warrants. Not only did it involve 18 CIDG-8 personnel, the team also was augmented by six members of the Regional Maritime Unit as perimeter defense, just for the purpose of searching for one firearm and a certain amount of illegal drugs in a government detention facility."

Sources:

  1. Senate report: Espinosa killing premeditated by Angie M. Rosales , March 13, 2017, The Daily Tribune

(This article is adapted from the source listed above. We are unable to grant permission for any kind of reproduction other than social media shares.)


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