PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” M. dela Rosa yesterday ordered the transfer to Camp Crame of 24 policemen involved in the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. in an early morning raid inside the Baybay City Sub-Provincial Jail last Saturday.
“After being appraised of the initial results of the investigation on the incident resulting in the death of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, I have directed Police Director Fernando Mendez Jr. of the Directorate for Personnel and Record Management to immediately issue the order for the relief of 18 other Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit 8 (CIDG8) and six (6) Regional Maritime Unit 8 (RMU8) personnel involved in the operation effective immediately,” said the PNP chief in a statement.
He said the 24 were reassigned to the PNP Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit in Camp Crame to face ongoing investigations by the PNP Internal Affairs Service and the PNP-CIDG national headquarters.
“The PNP will fully cooperate to any investigating body. Let me assure everyone that there will be no whitewash in the investigation; we will ferret out the truth; and slap appropriate sanctions or charges to our personnel who have committed violations,” said Gen. Dela Rosa.
Ordered transferred to Camp Crame effective yesterday were erstwhile 8th Regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit chief Supt. Marvin Marcos and his men Supt. Santi Noel Matira, Chief Insp. Leo Laraga, Senior Insps. Eric Constantino and Fritz Blanco, Senior Police Officers 4 Melvin Cayobit and Juanito Duarte, SPO2 Alphinor Serrano Jr., SPO1 Benjamin Dacallos, PO3 Norman Abellanosa, PO2 Neil Centino and PO1s Lloyd Ortiguez, Bhernard Orpilla, Kristal Jane Gisma, Jerlan Cabiyaan and Divine Grace Songalia.
The others were 8th Regional Maritime Unit personnel -- Chief Insp. Calixto Canillas Jr., Insp. Lucresito Candilosas, SPO2 Antonio Cadocil, SPO1 Mark Christian Cadillo and PO2s John Ruel Doculan and Jaime Bacsal.
Gen. Dela Rosa also vowed to provide adequate protection to Kerwin Espinosa as soon as he is sent back to the country by Abu Dhabi authorities.
The top cop earlier offered to personally protect the son of the slain mayor, whose killing inside the Baybay City Sub-Provincial Jail is now the subject of an investigation by Senate, the PNP, National Police Commission, the PNP-IAS and the National Bureau of Investigation.
“He (Kerwin) should not worry, I will watch over him even if I have to do it myself. I assure that nothing will happen to him,” he said.
Dela Rosa also promised to protect other high-profile drug personalities who will surrender to police authorities even as he came to the defense of the CIDG operatives involved in the killing of the elder Espinosa, saying that in the absence of incontrovertible evidence, he would believe that it was not a case of ‘extra-judicial killing.’ With Zaida delos Reyes-Palanca