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Cops linked to Espinosa’s death get new assignments

By AARON RECUENCO

A police colonel and his men who were linked to the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Roland Espinosa have already been reinstated and will be given new assignments in Central Visayas and Central Mindanao.

Superintendent Marvin Marcos will be assigned as the new head of the Central Mindanao regional police office of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

“They were already reinstated. Their cases have already been resolved,” said Director General Ronald dela Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“They are now back to normal duties, they can now be deployed,” he added.

It was recalled that those implicated in the killings were Supt. Santi Noel Matira, deputy; Chief Insp. Leo Laraga, team leader of the group that conducted the operation; Senior Inspectors Eric Constantino, Deogracias Diaz III, and Fritz Blanco.

The other CIDG personnel linked were Senior Police Officers 4 Melvin Cayobit and Juanito Duarte; SPO2 Alphinor Serrano, Jr; SPO1 Benjamin Dacallos; PO3s Norman Abellanosa and Johnny Ibanez; PO2 Neil Patric Centino; and, PO1s Lloyd Ortigueza, Bhernard Orpilla, Kristal Gisma, Jerlan Cabiyaan and Divine Grace Songalia.

Dela Rosa also confirmed that Marcos was already named the CIDG Region 12 head while sources said 18 of his men also linked to Espinosa killing were either deployed in Central Visayas or Central Mindanao.

“Maybe that’s the vacant position that was seen by the CIDG,” said dela Rosa when asked to confirm Marcos’s assignment as Central Mindanao CIDG chief.

Marcos, it was recalled, was the head of the CIDG Eastern Visayas when they were accused of killing Espinosa and Raul Yap inside the Leyte Provincial Jail extension jail in Baybay City.

Aside from CIDG personnel, also charged in the killing of Espinosa and Yap were five personnel of the local Maritime Group who served as reinforcements on the raiding CIDG personnel.

Dela Rosa said the reinstatement and giving of new assignments to the CIDG personnel came after their administrative cases have been resolved following months-long investigation process at Camp Crame.

The decision, according to dela Rosa, is that all of them should be reinstated.

The PNP leadership, however, has been very silent about the cases involving Marcos during the time that questions are being asked about their status at the height of the dismissal of erring policemen.

On Wednesday, President Duterte has vocally stated that Marcos and his men should be reinstated.

DUE PROCESS
Dela Rosa stressed that the cases involving Marcos and his men underwent a due process, both criminal and administrative charges.

It was recalled that on the criminal cases leveled against Marcos and his men, the Department of Justice has approved the downgrading of the case filed against them from murder to homicide.

This move allowed Marcos and his men to secure their freedom by posting bail.

“It just showed that our justice system is working. If drug pushers or drug lords can claim due process, why not give due process also to the policemen,” said dela Rosa.

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