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Author Topic: Pardoning police officers behind Espinosa slay is Duterte’s prerogative  (Read 252 times)

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Pardoning police officers behind Espinosa slay is President’s prerogative - judge

TACLOBAN CITY, April 4 (PNA) - Giving pardon to the 19 police officials who allegedly plotted the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa and another inmate inside their prison cells is a prerogative of President Rodrigo Duterte, the judge who issued their warrants of arrest said.

Judge Carlos Arguelles, presiding judge of Baybay City Regional Trial Court Branch 14, said the President may grant pardon to the suspects for as long as the camp of the accused will follow court procedures.

“The President has the pardoning power. In fact, I take exception to the observation of some that the case may reach the Supreme Court,” Arguelles said in a mobile phone interview on Monday.

On March 20, former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Region 8 (CIDG-8) head Supt. Marvin Marcos and 18 other CIDG operatives surrendered to the CIDG regional office three days after Arguelles issued the arrest warrants. The suspects have been temporarily detained at the CIDG lock-up cell here.

On April 1, President Duterte reiterated his commitment to grant pardon and to even promote policemen who just obeyed his orders in the drugs war.

Granting that the 19 detainees will plead guilty during the arraignment on April 26, Arguelles said he will give the prosecution a time to prove that the suspects are guilty.

If the suspects will no longer appeal the case, the court would then order where they would be detained permanently, making the court ruling final and executory.

“That’s the time that the President can grant them pardon. It will not even take an hour to do that,” Arguelles said.

On Saturday, the judge conducted a surprise inspection at the CIDG-8 detention cell to check if the agency is complying with conditions set by the court.

Arguelles noted that the CIDG-8 has been adhering to the court order that detainees should be inside their maximum detention cell and not roaming around the compound.

“I am impartial to anyone and I want to see if the authorities are fulfilling their functions. What I saw is that there’s no special treatment there,” the judge said.

Aside from Marcos, also named in the arrest warrants were Supt. Santi Noel Matira, Chief Insp. Leo Larraga, Senior Insp. Fritz Blanco, Senior Insp. Doegracias Diaz, Insp. Lucredito Candilosas, SPO4 Melvin Cayubit, PO3 Johnny Ibañez, SPO4 Juanito Duarte, PO1 Lloyd Ortigueza, PO1 Bhernard Orpilla, SPO2 Benjamin Dacallos, PO3 Norman Abellanosa, PO1 Jerlans Cabiyaan, PO1 Clixto Canillas Jr., SPO1 Mark Christian Cadilo, PO2 John Ruel Doculan and PO2 Jaime Dacsal.

Both the National Bureau of Investigation and the Senate found that these 19 CIDG officials allegedly plotted the pre-dawn raid of the cells of Espinosa and another inmate, Raul Yap, at the Baybay sub-provincial jail on Nov. 3, 2016.

Espinosa, the father of detained big-time drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, was named by President Rodrigo Duterte as one of the country’s local chief executives with drug links.(PNA)

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