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Initial probe on case vs CIDG Region 8 members to push through
« on: December 08, 2016, 03:42:11 PM »
Initial probe on case vs CIDG Region 8 members to push through -- DOJ
By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan

MANILA, Dec. 8 (PNA) -- Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Thursday said that the agency will continue the preliminary investigation on the case filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against members of the Criminal Detection and Investigation Group (CIDG) - Region 8 in connection with the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa.

The DOJ made the statement despite President Rodrigo Duterte's remarks defending the policemen allegedly involved in the said killing.

”It will not affect (the proceedings of the case). We will continue our preliminary investigation,” Aguirre said when sought for a comment.

Espinosa was named by President Duterte as being involved in the illegal drugs trade.

On Tuesday, the NBI said that the twin-killing of Espinosa and fellow inmate Raul Yap inside their detention cells at the Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail in Baybay City last Nov. 5 was a "rubout".

NBI spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin said their parallel investigation, under Aguirre's instruction, showed testimonial and forensic evidence that the actions of policemen, who served the search warrant on Espinosa in the wee hours of Nov. 5, "showed a community of purpose or an implied conspiracy."

“We respect the findings of the police but this is the findings of the NBI and we stand by our findings. Naniniwala kaming merong criminal intent, merong pakay sila sa pagpatay kay Mayor Rolando Espinosa at Raul Yap. There was community of purpose, there was mission in their action, there was conspiracy,” Lavin said.

He said the forensic team did their best to recreate the crime scene, noting that the forensic findings are consistent with the testimonial evidence.

He added that though forensics showed Espinosa’s hand was positive for nitrate residue for gunpowder, it was also possible that someone put the gun in the victim’s hand and fired it.

The NBI filed before the DOJ multiple murder and perjury case against 24 members of the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) Regional Office No. 08.

Facing a complaint for multiple murder are Superintendent Marvin Wynn Marcos, Superintentdent Santi Noel Gaspang Matira, Chief Inspector Leo Daio Laraga, Senior Inspector (SI) Deogracia Pedong Diaz, SI Fritz Bioco Blanco, Senior Police Officer 4 Juanito Ampado Duarte, SPO4 Melvin Mendoza Caboyit, SPO4 Eric Palattao Constantino, SPO2 Benjamin Layague Dacallos, SPO2 Alphinor Milla Serrano, Jr., PO3 Johnny Abuda Ibanez, PO3 Norman Tiu Abellanosa, PO2 Niel Patrimonio Centino, PO1 Bernard Rodriguez Orpilla, PO3 Lloyd Ortinez Ortiguesa, PO1 Jerlan Sadia Cabiyaan, Cristal Jane Briones Gisma, Divine Grace Baclas Songalia, all assigned at CIDG Regional Office No. 08, Port Area, Tacloban City as well as PCINSP Calixto Cabardo Canillas, Jr., PINSP Lucresito Adana Candelosas, SPO2 Antonio Romangca Docil, SPO1 Mark Christian Castillo Cadilo, PO2 John Ruel Baldevia Doculan, and PO2 Jaime Pacuan Bacsal, all assigned at Regional Maritime Unit 8 Port Area, Tacloban City.

The NBI also recommended the filing of perjury charges against Chief Insp. Leo Diao Laraga, PO3 Norman T. Abellanosa and Paul Olendan for maliciously obtaining a search warrant.

Meanwhile, Aguirre created a five-man panel to conduct preliminary investigation and determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of a case by the NBI against the cops policemen involved in the killing of Espinosa and fellow inmate Raul Yap inside the sub-provincial jail in Baybay City.

In his Department Order no. 890 issued on Wednesday, Aguirre designated Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Lilian Doris P. Alejo as chairperson while her members are Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia L. Torrevillas, Assistant State Prosecutor Jinky P. Dedumo, Assistant State Prosecutor Karla T. Cabel and Prosecuting Attorney Moises Y. Acayan.

The panel will conduct a preliminary investigation on the multiple murder and perjury case against 24 members of the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) Regional Office No. 08.

"In the interest of public service, pursuant to the provisions of existing laws and pursuant to the result of the investigation conducted by the NBI Eastern Visayas Regional Office, recommending the prosecution thereof, a panel of prosecutor is hereby constituted to conduct the preliminary investigation of the case," Aguirre said in the Department Order.

"If evidence warrants, [the panel is ordered] to file the appropriate information in the court of competent jurisdiction and to prosecute the same," said Aguirre.

As to the matter of President Duterte defending the assailed policemen, Aguirre said that the President made the statement to show his trust and support to the PNP in its enforcement of his campaign against illegal drugs campaign in the country.

He also explained that such pronouncement of the President does not constitute an impeachable offense. (PNA)

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