JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II yesterday said a panel of five state prosecutors will handle the complaints filed by the National Bureau of Investigation against the policemen involved in the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and fellow inmate Raul Yap inside the sub-provincial jail in Baybay City last November 5.
Aguirre said he is now readying the department order naming the prosecutors who will handle the preliminary investigation of the case and determine if there is probable cause to warrant a court case.
‘The order will be issued within two days,” Aguirre said.
Citing testimonial and forensic evidence, the NBI said the killing of Espinosa, who had surrendered to the authorities after he and his son Kerwin were linked by President Rodrigo Duterte to the illegal drugs trade, and Yap was a rubout and not a shootout as claimed by the policemen who raided the cell of Espinosa and Yap.
The police team who conducted the raid insisted that Espinosa shot at them first, prompting them to fire back.
Complaints for murder, robbery, malicious procurement of search warrant, perjury and planting of evidence were filed by the NBI before the DoJ last December 2 against Supt. Marvin Marcos, former CIDG Eastern Visayas director, and other members of the raiding team.
Also charged with perjury and malicious procurement of search warrant was Paul Olendan, the witness used by the police to obtain the search warrants against Espinosa and Yap from Judge Tarcelo Sabarre Jr. of the Regional Trial Court branch 30 in Basey, Samar.
In a related development, Aguirre said the ruling of Baybay, Leyte Regional Trial Court Branch 14 Judge Carlos Arguelles granting the younger Espinosa’s bid to be transferred to the custody of the NBI is a welcome development.
“It will be convenient for him if he will as he said pursue his application to the government’s witness protection program,” the DoJ chief said.
The WPP is administered by the DoJ.
The younger Espinosa is presently detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame where he was brought after his return following his arrest in the United Arab Emirates last month.