JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II yesterday vowed a fair probe by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) into the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa inside the Leyte subprovincial jail in Baybay City last Nov. 5.
Aguirre said the NBI would pursue all angles in the probe -- including the possible murder angle -- despite pronouncements of President Duterte siding with the team from Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group involved in the incident.
The DoJ chief said there is nothing wrong in pursuing the NBI parallel probe even after the President publicly said he was inclined to believe the version of the CIDG men that they killed Espinosa because he tried to shoot them while serving a search warrant inside the jail before dawn.
“That is the personal feeling of the President. But as head of the DoJ, which has the NBI as its attached agency, I think it's just appropriate for me to order the parallel investigation,” he explained to reporters.
Aguirre revealed that NBI director Dante Gierran is personally heading the probe that started last week.
He also welcomed the move of the Supreme Court to look into the circumstances of the issuance of the search warrant by a Basey, Samar court against the mayor who was already in jail.
“There are two schools of thought. One is that Mayor Espinosa was already in a controlled environment so there was no need for such search warrant anymore. The other one is that the issuance of the warrant in such a case could still be justified -- especially in cases where in some jail authorities are in cahoots with inmates and since the searchers and the jailers are not from the same unit,” he explained.