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Superintendent Marvin Marcos and 18 other policemen surrendered following the issuance of arrest warrants against them for the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa.
Armed with a search warrant, Marcos and his team raided the cells of Espinosa and another inmate, Raul Yap, at the sub-provincial jail of Baybay early dawn on November 5, allegedly due to reports that the two continued selling illegal drugs even while under detention.
The team claimed that Espinosa and Yap shot it out with the policemen even though the cells were dark since the lights were turned off. Marcos’s men said they were forced to shoot back.
But the Senate inquiry as well as the investigation conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) did not buy their alibi, and revealed that Espinosa and Yap were unarmed. Marcos and his team were found guilty of grave abuse of authority and the premeditated killing of the victims.
Ironically, the cops were temporarily placed under the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Region 8 (CIDG-8) where they were formerly assigned and Marcos previously headed at the time Espinosa was slain. They were held without bail.
And like any other detainee, they were all subjected to the natural process of fingerprinting, documentation, mug shot and medical examination.
Prosecutors and Judge Carlos Arguelles of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 14 in Baybay City should be commended for exercising their independence with the filing of the case and the issuance of arrest warrants despite the possibility of earning the ire of President Duterte.
Duterte had stated many times that he was backing Marcos and his team and would defend the police and the military, and even go down with them to the mouths of hell if need be, simply because he ordered the drug war.
What if Marcos and his team get committed to the same provincial jail where Espinosa and Yap were killed and fall under the custody of the same Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) officers they disarmed, ordered to face the wall and put to shame?
Some people call it poetic justice.
I just pray that they don’t get served search warrants inside their cells.
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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at http://www.tempo.com.ph/category/opinion/firing-line/ (Robert B. Roque, Jr.)