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ON THIS PAGE: THE LEYTE NARCO MAYOR ESPINOSA KILLING
ANALYSIS BY A. CONTRERAS: THE KILLING OF ESPINOSA & THE PHILIPPINES AS AN INCIPIENT NARCO-STATE
(The imagery of this is so compelling for anyone to ignore. And it cannot easily be simplified either by just conveniently labeling it as an extra-judicial killing.)
[RELATED: Photos tell 2 stories on Espinosa death: Shootout or rubout?]
NOVEMBER 8 -This photo taken on August 2, 2016, shows drug suspect Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa (left) talking to Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa (right) at Camp Crame. Photo by Agence France-Presse MANILA, Philippines – NOVEMBER 6 UPDATE -The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has ordered a probe into the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr while inside his jail cell on Saturday, November 5. Espinosa and his son, Kerwin, were among the first drug suspects named by President Rodrigo Duterte, who is waging a war on drugs that has been linked to the deaths of at least 4,791 people since July 1.COURTESY OF RAPPLER.COM IF there is one thing that the killing of Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. has revealed, it is the undeniable fact that we now have an incipient narco-state. Not yet a full-blown narco-state perhaps, but already on the way to becoming one, if we do not do something about it. Mayor Espinosa, a local government official, has already been implicated in the drug trade, and was in police custody when he was killed.His death has become evidence of how the drug problem has inserted itself not only in slum areas where ordinary people end up dead, but inside a provincial jail where a mayor ended up lying in a pool of his own blood. READ MORE...RELATED, Photos tell 2 stories on Espinosa death: Shootout or rubout?...
ALSO: Duterte not puzzled by Espinosa’s death
[RELATED: Mayor Espinosa’s killing sets back Duterte’s drug war—Bayan]
[RELATED(2) CIDG: Espinosa no angel, he's a druglord and a killer; CIDG claims drug lords want to destroy innocent cops]
NOVEMBER 10 -Members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 8 who were involved in the alleged shootout that led to the death of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa only did their job to eliminate a drug personality, President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday said. Contrary to Palace spokesmen’s claim that the President is “puzzled” by Espinosa’s death, Duterte stressed he sees nothing wrong with the shooting of the controversial local chief executive inside his prison cell last Saturday.
“Why should I be puzzled,” Duterte replied when asked if he was puzzled by the mayor’s death.
“You have here a guy, government employee, using his office and money of government, cooking shabu and destroying the lives of so many millions of Filipino. So what is then for me to say about it?” he added. READ MORE...RELATED, Mayor Espinosa’s killing sets back Duterte’s drug war—Bayan ...RELATED(2) Espinosa no angel, he's a druglord and a killer: CIDG claims drug lords want to destroy innocent cops...
ALSO: Senators see premeditation, ‘bad script’ in Espinosa death
[RELATED: SENATE PROBE ON ESPINOSA'S DEATH - Pacquiao lectures CIDG on issuance of search warrant]
[RELATED(2): Duterte backs CIDG's version of Espinosa killing]
NOVEMBER 11 -Senators were one in concluding that the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa inside his detention cell was premeditated. Boy Santos, file Senators were one in concluding that the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa inside his detention cell was premeditated. From the securing of a search warrant by the regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to the procedures taken in the actual operation at the Leyte provincial jail in Baybay City, several irregularities were noted during yesterday’s inquiry into the incident. “There’s one word to describe this: premeditated,” said Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, which conducted the inquiry. READ MORE...RELATED, SENATE PROBE ON ESPINOSA'S DEATH - Pacquiao lectures CIDG on issuance of search warrant...RELATED(2), Duterte backs CIDG's version of Espinosa killing...
ALSO: Lacson: Espinosa’s slay a ‘clear case of extrajudicial killing’
[RELATED: Cops called (SOCO) before killing Espinosa, document shows]
[RELATED: Lacson - Son Kerwin Espinosa must live to tell his story]
NOVEMBER 5 -Senator Panfilo Lacson. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES MANILA, Philippines— Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson is keen to call for a resumption of the just concluded Senate inquiry into the spate of drug-related deaths following Saturday’s killing of drug suspect Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., who was said to have fought back police while being served an arrest warrant at a Leyte jail. Lacson said he would discuss with Senate justice and human rights committee chair Richard Gordon the possibility of resuming the investigation as he called Espinosa’s killing “a clear case of EJK (extrajudicial killing).” READ: Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa killed in ‘firefight’ inside jail “I think that incident is the biggest challenge to the credibility of the PNP that could affect even the other operations involving drug suspects killed under similarly suspicious circumstances,” said Lacson, a former national police chief. READ MORE...RELATED, Cops called SOCO before killing Espinosa, document shows... RELATED, Lacson: Kerwin Espinosa must live to tell his story...
ALSO: 19 cops involved in Mayor Espinosa’s killing to face charges
[RELATED: Albuera police chief asks CIDG: Why was Espinosa killed over 1 gun?]
[RELATED(2): Aguirre - Kerwin Espinosa wants witness protection]
NOVEMBER 9 -Nineteen police officers who served search warrants at the Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail which led to the death of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and another inmate will be facing administrative charges. “At this point, we believe that we will be levying for administrative complaints for operatives involved both from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Region 8 and Regional Maritime Unit,” Internal Affairs Service (IAS) deputy inspector general Chief Supt. Leo Angelo Leuterio said in an interview aired on Unang Balita. “We will be levying administrative case for them for grave misconduct so if they are found guilty or culpable of this violation, they can be dismissed from the service,” Leuterio added. Thirteen of the police officers are members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Region 8 and the other six are members of the Philippine National Police Maritime Group. READ MORE...RELATED, Albuera police chief asks CIDG: Why was Espinosa killed over 1 gun?... RELATED(2) Aguirre: Kerwin Espinosa wants witness protection...
ALSO: Donald Trump’s triumph, Espinosa’s murder: a tale of two political tsunamis
[ALSO: Triple whammy By: Solita Collas-Monsod]]
NOVEMBER 10 -BY YEN MAKABENTA -THE column that I was writing on the murder of Mayor RolandoEspinosa while in police custody, was overtaken by the political tsunami that occurred in America yesterday– the surprise electoral victory of Republican Donald Trump in the US presidential election. This development is so seismic and far-reaching in impact, I had to quickly redesign my column into a split-level structure: 1. One level discussing the shocking murder of Mayor Rolando Espinosa inside his jail cell in Baybay, Leyte; and 2. A second level discussing the significance of Trump’s ascent to the presidency of the most powerful nation and biggest economy in the planet. These two developments, in their respective ways, will impact deeply and profoundly the presidency of President Duterte–his domestic and foreign policies, and the way he governs this nation. They force a review of policies that were adopted without thorough study and review, during the first four months of Duterte rule. READ MORE...RELATED, PNP relieves 24 cops in Espinosa killing... ALSO, Triple whammy By: Solita Collas-Monsod...
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The killing of Espinosa and the Philippines as an incipient narco-state
NOVEMBER 8 -This photo taken on August 2, 2016, shows drug suspect Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa (left) talking to Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa (right) at Camp Crame. Photo by Agence France-Presse MANILA, Philippines – NOVEMBER 6 UPDATE -The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has ordered a probe into the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr while inside his jail cell on Saturday, November 5. Espinosa and his son, Kerwin, were among the first drug suspects named by President Rodrigo Duterte, who is waging a war on drugs that has been linked to the deaths of at least 4,791 people since July 1.COURTESY OF RAPPLER.COM
[[PHOTOS ON THIS PAGE APPENDED BY PHNO]
MANILA, NOVEMBER 7, 2016 (MANILA TIMES) BY ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS ON ON NOVEMBER 8, 2016 ANALYSIS - (Part 1 of a series on drugs in the Philippines)
ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS
IF there is one thing that the killing of Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. has revealed, it is the undeniable fact that we now have an incipient narco-state. Not yet a full-blown narco-state perhaps, but already on the way to becoming one, if we do not do something about it.
Mayor Espinosa, a local government official, has already been implicated in the drug trade, and was in police custody when he was killed.His death has become evidence of how the drug problem has inserted itself not only in slum areas where ordinary people end up dead, but inside a provincial jail where a mayor ended up lying in a pool of his own blood.
The imagery of this is so compelling for anyone to ignore. And it cannot easily be simplified either by just conveniently labeling it as an extra-judicial killing.
An alleged page from the mayor’s sworn affidavit became viral in social media, and if we assume that it is a faithful reproduction, it contains an explosive list that gives us a glimpse of the depth and the breadth of the drug problem in the country. The list allegedly starts with the name of the former justice secretary, who is now a senator, Leila de Lima, and from there it goes down to almost all levels of governance in the Eastern Visayas.
What is damning is that the list does not end with scions of political dynasties that occupy seats of power in local government, from the provincial to the barangay level. It also contains the names of police officials, from top generals already mentioned by the President as involved in the drug trade, to mere SPOs and POs.It even includes names of people from the media.
Mayor Espinosa was already in police custody when he was killed.
PHOTO POST AUGUST 2016 -THE FIRST time Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. presented himself to authorities, PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa made the mayor face the media. Espinosa is now sheltered in his town’s police station in a deal he struck with police to spill the beans on his son’s syndicate in exchange for police security. GRIG C. MONTEGRAND INQUIRER NEWS AUGUST 26, 2016
And the story behind the killing lends further evidence to the incipient narcotization of the Philippine state. It is the incredible narrative that raises some questions.
Why would agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), a branch of the Philippine National Police (PNP), still serve a search warrant on someone who is already in custody?
These questions only dramatize the suspicion that a brazen violation of procedures was committed by people who obviously appropriated the authority provided by the state to perform a highly irregular act.
And here, you are confronted by a shocking reality, one that someone who defends human rights, and who is against the President’s drug war, should take to heart and reflect on.
DRUG TRADE IN THE PH
The drug problem in the country exists because there is a political nexus within which it thrives. The drug trade is the lifeblood of patronage politics that flows to the lowest barangay from the halls of power in the executive and legislative branches of government. It provides money to finance political careers, serving as the oil that makes political machineries run. To exist, it must be sustained by the patronage of collaborators from the very agencies of law, the police and the judiciary, so that they can escape, or undermine, its reach. In this context, the drug trade has infected politics and has nested comfortably in the inaction, even complicity, of previous governments.
It is in this context that those who oppose the President’s drug war have to recalibrate and rethink their confrontational stance against the President. Raising the specter of Espinosa’s death as a case of extra-judicial killing for which the President is blamed is just too convenient. This ignores the fact that the state could also become a victim of people who have nothing but contempt for the rule of law. In fact, they even corrupt it by operating under its ambit while exceeding its power.
How can the state go after the rogue elements that appropriate and corrupt its authority if you always automatically accuse it of complicity?
As it appears, the President is not the enemy here. He may have used a questionable strategy, aggravated by his colorful violent language, in his fight against the forces behind the incipient narco-state, but what choice does he have? These forces have already penetrated the whole arsenal of governance, at all levels and all branches.
The state is under attack from within. Espinosa’s death will not be the last.
Human rights advocacy, therefore, should negotiate the difficult challenge of protecting rights without becoming the unwilling pawn that enables an incipient narco-state.
Next: The challenge to recalibrate human rights advocacy in the face of an incipient narco-state
Recalibrating human rights in an incipient narco-state BY ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS ON ON NOVEMBER 10, 2016 ANALYSIS
ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS
(Part 2 of a series on drugs in the Philippines)
MANY have already judged the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. as a case of extrajudicial killing, or EJK.
Indeed, if one operates under the legal definition of EJK, which is the killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicialproceeding or legal process, the death of Mayor Espinosa has all the ingredients.
EJK POLITICAL MEANING
However, one has to realize that the term EJK has already mutated and has acquired a politicized meaning. It is now being deployed to imply automatic culpability on the state as an institution in every killing.
There is a concerted effort to paint EJK as if it is a deliberate state policy. In this context, EJK has transmogrified from being a mere legal category in the taxonomy of deaths, into a label that has attached to a move by critics to discredit a President they hate.
The root of this lies in the discourse of human rights institutionalized in Western political theory and modern states.
The classical human rights discourse looks at the state as one that needs to be restrained as a necessary evil. Any modern constitution is a document that imposes limits on state power, and the bill of rights is seen as a shield of ordinary citizens against anticipated state abuses.
This Western construct has prioritized individual rights over the collective, and has denied the state the possibility that it too needs protection from its own organs that could act to threaten it, as when there are coups, or when rogue officials collaborate with lawless elements to undermine it. Yet, in situations where states are under threat by its own organs, the onus still rests on its legitimate parts to respect the rights even of people who seek to undermine it.
Coup plotters and rogue drug-protecting politicians and law enforcers still have their human rights reserved in a modern state.
Hence, it is easy to assume that any EJK is always sanctioned or, if not, tolerated by the state, even if the killing is at the hands of those who seek to undermine it.
The case of the killing of Mayor Espinosa speaks of an incipient narco-state that is being attacked from within. It reveals a drug problem that has penetrated all branches of government and at all levels. The state was helpless in securing the life of Mayor Espinosa, who was already under its custody.
PCIJ/Nancy Carvajal; CIDG handout/ABS-CBN
The suspicious narrative surrounding his death indicates that it may have been an act by rogue elements to protect the drug trade in which the mayor and his son allegedly had a critical role.
There is a fundamental problem when opponents of the drug war of the President deploy the EJK label to implicate him as having command responsibility. In doing so, they make it appear as if the police who killed Mayor Espinosa somehow acted at the behest of the President as head of state, and that rubbing out witnesses already in custody is a matter of state policy.
The realities of being in an incipient narco-state, where all branches and all levels of government appear to have signs of being invaded by agents whose fortunes, political or otherwise, rest on trading drugs, make it impossible to treat the state as a monolithic structure. The state in the incipient stage of being a narco-state is a state in distress that also needs help and protection.
Yet the discourse on human rights has traditionally drawn its logic from a flawed assumption that states always act as one single agency.
Hence, human rights advocacy must begin to unpack the category of the state, and consequently recalibrate its own responses. It must begin to imagine how universal entitlements can be promoted not as a black and white dualism, but as a contextualized array of protective mechanisms. It must begin to recognize that the right to a peaceful and secure life free from threats is also a fundamental right.
It is necessary to begin to talk about human rights no longer as an individual construct but in collective and relational terms, and that the state also needs protection when the collective rights of people are threatened by its own organs. It is about time that human rights advocates cease having this adversarial role against the state and take on a nuanced, multi-faceted approach, particularly in situations where the state is under attack, and its ability to provide its citizens their basic and fundamental human rights is being compromised.
The challenge therefore is for human rights advocacy in an incipient narco-state such as ours not to excessively tie the hands of the state and unwittingly strengthen the hands of those who seek to undermine it. Human rights must also protect the right of a weak state so that it can be strong enough to protect the rights of its citizens.
Next: Toward finding a sustainable solution to the drug problem
RELATED FROM PHILSTAR
Photos tell 2 stories on Espinosa death: Shootout or rubout? By Nancy C. Carvajal and Davinci Maru (philstar.com) | Updated November 10, 2016 - 10:07am 11 3077 googleplus0 0
Photos on the left obtained by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism show the body of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. lying flat on his back with his eyes half-open, and both of his hands empty. The photo on the right, officially released by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 8 of the Philippine National Police shows Espinosa's body slumped sideways, with his right hand appeared to be holding a gun. PCIJ/Nancy Carvajal; CIDG handout/ABS-CBN
LEYTE (Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism) — As authorities seem to be standing pat on their claim that a shootout occurred between Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and the operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 8 at the sub-provincial jail in Baybay, Leyte before dawn on Nov. 5, photos provided by a police insider to PCIJ appear to point to a different story.
These photos, obtained just recently by PCIJ, show Espinosa’s bloodied body lying flat on his back with his eyes half-open, and both of his hands empty.
One of the photos also reveal Espinosa lying near a pink table, which the police insider says the mayor used to play Mahjong inside the detention cell.
In another photo, a pair of slippers lies near Espinosa’s body. The photos were taken immediately after the shooting incident when the law enforcers and civilian kibitzers ran toward inside the jail facility, according to the insider. The source adds that the photos were also shot “before the arrival of scene of the crime operatives (SOCO).’’
But an official photo released by the CIDG 8 shows Espinosa’s body slumped sideways with his right knee slightly up, and with his right hand appeared to be holding a gun. Authorities have said that Espinosa used a .38-caliber revolver in the supposed shootout.
In the CIDG photo, a chair that lay on its side was by Espinosa’s head, apparently to show a commotion took place, the source said. Another chair was near Espinosa’s feet, by the pink table.
The same photo released by the law enforcers also show a slipper missing its pair, unlike in the photos obtained by PCIJ in which a pair of slippers of the same design and color were near the body. Photos given to PCIJ also showed just one chair that was by Espinosa’s left foot.
The question is when the official photo released to the public was taken and why the position of Espinosa’s body, among other things, was different from the other photos obtained by PCIJ.
PCIJ went to CIDG 8 regional office in the port area of Tacloban City to get their side on the photographs, but was told by a desk officer that no one there was authorized to speak to reporters pending today’s hearing before the Senate.
The desk officer also told PCIJ that 13 CIDG 8 officials and operatives who participated in the operation had been summoned by the Senate to shed light on the incident.
Based on the observations of Director Dante Gierran of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the crime scene was not preserved and could affect the result of the investigation.
Gierran and his team were in Leyte yesterday to conduct a parallel investigation on the incident when chanced upon by PCIJ at the airport.
The police autopsy report showed that Espinosa sustained four gunshot wounds, including one in the head.
However, the police blotter report on the incident showed portions that had been corrected to enroll the name of Police Chief Inspector Leo Laraga, CIDG Region 8, as head of the raiding team.
Click to zoom Police blotter report on the incident with correction portion. PCIJ/Nancy Carvajal
More cells searched
According to the NBI, which is conducting a parallel inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the incident, a second autopsy examination will be made only upon the request of Espinosa’s family.
An internal investigation conducted by CIDG in Camp Crame has revealed that Espinosa was alone in his cell apparently sleeping when the team of CIDG operatives arrived before dawn to serve a search warrant issued by Judge Tarcelo Sabarre of the Bassey Samar Regional Trial Court Branch 30.
The Supreme Court has ordered an investigation focusing on the circumstances in the issuance of the search warrants.
Sabarre’s order covered cell number one occupied by Espinosa, and cell number two supposedly occupied by Raul Yap.
“However, the operatives also searched other cells where Yap was supposedly hiding when they failed to locate him in cell number two,” the police insider told PCIJ, adding it could be a violation in the rules of implementation of the court order.
The police source says Yap apparently moved to another cell during the standoff. Investigation also showed Yap fired at the operatives after a shot rang out in Espinosa’s cell.
“Nauna ‘yung putukan kay Espinosa bago ‘yung kay Yap (The shooting at Espinosa’s cell came first before that in Yap’s),” the insider says.
Paraffin tests were conducted on Espinosa and Yap and both were supposedly found positive of powder gun residue, the police insider also says.
Espinosa and Yap had both been accused and detained for possession of illegal drugs. Espinosa was arrested in August following a raid in his house that yielded close to a million worth of shabu, improvised explosive device (EID), and several high-powered firearms.
Espinosa was also the father of known big-time drug dealer in Eastern Visayas Rolan Kerwin Espinosa.
Kerwin was arrested and detained by the Abu-Dhabi police following a request from Philippine National Police (PNP). After President Rodrigo Duterte won the elections, he fled from the Philippines in May and was hiding in the Middle Eastern country.
Duterte, during the campaign, had promised to go after personalities involved in the illegal drug trade.
In the interview with PCIJ, the police insider also said that the light inside Espinosa’s cell was off when the CIDG 8 team arrived and the operatives had to use flashlight from their mobile phones to illuminate the area.
The insider also said that based on the jail guards’ deployment blue book records, the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera, which was expected to give authorities a clear picture, was not taken by the CIDG operatives.
“When we checked the records, one of the entries stated that the CCTV camera was broken and taken out of the facility for repair even before the shooting incident took place,” the source said.
They had no guns
The police source, however, confirmed statements of witnesses that before gunshots were heard emanating from his cell Espinosa had shouted, “’Wag ninyo akong taniman! Wala akong baril! Wala akong kutsilyo! (Don’t you plant anything on me! I have no gun! I have no knife!)”
“The jail guards said the slain inmates had no gun,” said the insider, “but the CIDG operatives maintained the inmates have guns and fired at them first.’’
Blotter report from Baybay City. PCIJ/Nancy Carvajal
Commented the police source: “There are two versions of the incident depending which side you are on.”
Based on the spot report submitted by Baybay City Police, aside from a loaded .38 caliber pistol, a sachet of suspected shabu were found in Espinosa’s cell. Meanwhile, a loaded .45 caliber pistol and some 15 packets of sachets containing suspected shabu and 27 pieces of sachets containing marijuana were recovered from Yap’s cell. — PCIJ
Duterte not puzzled by Espinosa’s death Written by Tribune Wires Thursday, 10 November 2016 00:00
Members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 8 who were involved in the alleged shootout that led to the death of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa only did their job to eliminate a drug personality, President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday said.
Contrary to Palace spokesmen’s claim that the President is “puzzled” by Espinosa’s death, Duterte stressed he sees nothing wrong with the shooting of the controversial local chief executive inside his prison cell last Saturday.
“Why should I be puzzled,” Duterte replied when asked if he was puzzled by the mayor’s death.
“You have here a guy, government employee, using his office and money of government, cooking shabu and destroying the lives of so many millions of Filipino. So what is then for me to say about it?” he added.
Duterte said he is waiting for the results of the Philippine National Police (PNP) investigation on the killing of Espinosa, one of the personalities linked to the illicit drug trades.“I will obey what the police will tell me because we’re working in the government,” he added.
According to him, he has no plan to find fault with the police who allegedly killed Espinosa while serving arrest warrant for illegal possession for firearms.
“I will not go there to find fault with the police. I did not even agree that they should be transferred, at least not now. Because if I will do, no policemen will work already,” he stressed.
According to reports, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 8 chief Supt. Marvin Marcos was relieved as a result of the death of Espinosa.
On Thursday, the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs will investigate the killing of Espinosa.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson said the death of Espinosa might be another case of extrajudicial killing.
The Albuera mayor claimed some 30 lawmakers and police officers are involved in the illegal drugs trade.
19 COPS INVOLVED
The Department of Interior and Local Government has already identified at least 19 policemen involved in the shooting incident.
Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) Deputy Inspector General Chief Supt. Leo Angelo Leuterio yesterday said they have given the policemen involved in the operation against Espinosa 10 days to defend themselves through the submission of counter-affidavits.
Also, the PNP-IAS is also determining the kind of administrative case which will be filed against the policemen who conducted the operation inside the Baybay, Leyte, sub-provincial jail on Espinosa.
“At this point, we have already see administrative complaints against them, we are just determining what kind of administrative complaint should be given to them,” Leuterio said.
He added they are now in possession of the affidavits of the jail guards, inmates and the policemen assigned to Espinosa who will serve as witnesses.
“We are now in possession of the signed and subscribed affidavits of the probable witnesses to what happened during the service of warrant by the CIDG-8 on Mayor Espinosa and Raul Yap (another inmate),” Leuterio said. Ted Tuvera and PNA
RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER
Mayor Espinosa’s killing sets back Duterte’s drug war—Bayan By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales - Reporter / @YGonzalesINQ INQUIRER.net / 02:50 PM November 07, 2016
Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. GRIG MONTEGRANDE/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
The death of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa while in government custody sets back the Duterte administration’s war on drugs, militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said on Monday.
Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes Jr. said there were strong indications that the killing of Espinosa and another inmate in the Leyte Sub Provincial Jail was a “cold-blooded murder.” Espinosa was the second mayor killed in President Rodrigo Duterte’s “narcolist” of politicians following the death of Datu Saudi Ampatuan Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom in a police clash last month.
“The circumstances of Espinosa’s death are highly questionable; from the service of the so-called arrest and search warrants at 4 am, Espinosa’s alleged shoot-out with police, the presence of guns inside the jail cell, the alleged stand-off between the CIDG and jail officials and the missing CCTV footage of the incident,” Reyes said in a statement.
READ: Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa killed in ‘firefight’ inside jail
“While the involvement of the PNP seems to give the killing a cloak of legitimacy, as events are turning out, it merely highlights a most disturbing development of men in uniform involved in a premeditated rubout,” he added.
Reyes called for the relief of the operatives and leadership of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 8 pending a “thorough and impartial” investigation of the incident, particularly alleged attempts to silence Espinosa for his knowledge of more than 200 individuals, including politicians and police officials, involved in drug trade.
“Espinosa’s death weakens his testimony and favors those implicated in the list. This is one likely reason why he was killed as well as serve as a warning to his son Kerwin who is tagged as the real drug lord. The killing of Espinosa sets back the Duterte government’s ‘war on drugs’ which up to now appears to be eliminating only the small fry,” he said.
“At this point, it is necessary for the Duterte government to strongly condemn the killing of Espinosa and to act swiftly in holding accountable the perpetrators. The President himself must speak out in unequivocal terms and condemn the killing,” Reyes added.
According to the incident report that reached PNP, Espinosa and one Raul Yap were killed in a predawn firefight with CIDG operatives who were serving them search warrants for firearms and illegal drugs. Police claimed that the two fought it out with them, triggering the clash. JE/rga
RELATED(2) FROM THE INQUIRER
Espinosa no angel, he's a druglord and a killer: CIDG claims drug lords want to destroy innocent cops By: Julliane Love De Jesus - Reporter / @JLDejesusINQ INQUIRER.net / 03:24 PM November 10, 2016
Police Supt. Marvin Marcos. NOY MORCOSO/INQUIRER.net
As if justifying the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. while in a Leyte jail, the regional chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Eastern Visayas said before the Senate investigation on the death of Espinosa on Thursday that the operatives merely did their job to fight drugs.
Supt. Marvin Marcos, the leader of the police unit that raided Espinosa’s cell at the Baybay sub-provincial jail and killed the alleged drug lord, said he firmly believes in the campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte against drugs.
“Itong kampanya ng Presidente, naniniwala kami dito at ‘yung napatay ng mga tauhan ko hindi po anghel ’yon. Pumapatay ng tao ‘yon, drug lord. Ang daming sinisirang buhay kaya ‘yung operation namin sa illegal drugs tuloy-tuloy po,” Marcos said.
Duterte won on a campaign promise to eradicate drugs in the country by killing drug lords, pushers and users. Since he took office in July, more than 3,700 suspected drug users have been killed.
The President on Wednesday said he saw nothing questionable in the circumstances surrounding the death of Espinosa.
“Why should I be puzzled? You have here a guy—government employee—using his office and money of government, cooking ‘shabu’ and destroying the lives of so many millions of Filipinos. So what is there for me to say about it?” he said.
READ: Duterte not puzzled about mayor’s killing
Marcos is one of the 24 cops Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa relieved while the Oct. 5 incident is being probed by the PNP’s Internal Affairs Service (IAS).
Incidentally, Marcos’ aunt, Lalaine Jimenea, publisher of a local paper in Ormoc, was included on the list of protectors Espinosa disclosed in his affidavit.
READ: Albuera police chief asks CIDG: Why was Espinosa killed over 1 gun?
When asked by Senator Manny Pacquiao if the police were protecting anyone, Marcos maintained that he was not protecting any government official Espinosa implicated in the drug business.
“Wala po akong pinoprotektahan, sir. Nagtatrabaho lang kami bilang pulis,” Marcos said.
Marcos said drug lords in Leyte were taking advantage of the drug war by linking policemen to the illegal drug trade “so they could survive for six years while President Duterte is in office.”
“Ang ginagawa ng mga drug lord nagpapalabas ng pangalan ng mga pulis para magaway away at magkaroon ng conflict within the organization para bumagal ang kampanya ng droga,” he said.
“They are trying to survive for the next six years hangga’t matapos ang term ng Presidente natin. ‘Yon ginagawa ng mga sindikato,” Marcos said.
The boxing champion-turned-politician then asked if Marcos has evidence to prove his claim.
The police officer said drug lords would include names of policemen in the affidavits they execute to destroy the reputation of innocent cops.
“Diretsong tanong ulit. Sa Region 8 ba wala kayong involvement sa drugs?” Pacquiao asked Marcos.
Marcos maintained that he has been clean since he joined the police service in 1996.
“Ako po mula pumasok ako sa service noong 1996 wala po akong illegal na activities kahit saan kayo tumingin sa pagseserbisyo ko. Nilaan ko ang buong buhay ko para sa serbisyo,” he said. CDG/rga
Senators see premeditation, ‘bad script’ in Espinosa death By Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 11, 2016 - 12:00am 0 78 googleplus0 0
Senators were one in concluding that the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa inside his detention cell was premeditated. Boy Santos, file
MANILA, Philippines - Senators were one in concluding that the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa inside his detention cell was premeditated.
From the securing of a search warrant by the regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to the procedures taken in the actual operation at the Leyte provincial jail in Baybay City, several irregularities were noted during yesterday’s inquiry into the incident.
“There’s one word to describe this: premeditated,” said Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, which conducted the inquiry.
In a sequence of events presented by Supt. Marvin Marcos, the CIDG regional director, Lacson noted the 19-man raiding team was able to enter the provincial jail at around 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 5, forcing their way through the gates with a bolt cutter.
CIDG acting director Chief Supt. Roel Obusan, citing his initial findings on the incident, said the raiding team had to use force because the jail guards broke the key and left a portion of it inside the lock.
On the side of the jail guards, they claimed the person opening the gate accidentally broke the key when he was fumbling to unlock the gate.
Marcos’ report jumped from 4:30 a.m. to 5:58 a.m. when the police Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) arrived to investigate the crime scene.
What caught the attention of the senators was when Eastern Visayas police director Chief Supt. Elmer Beltejar revealed there was an earlier call made by Supt. Santi Noel Matira to the Regional Tactical Operation Center (RTOC) at around 3:49 a.m. requesting for the SOCO to proceed to the provincial jail.
Since Marcos claimed the raiding team, which he was part of, was able to go in the jail only at 4:30 a.m., Lacson said it was highly unusual for Matira to call for the SOCO team even before Espinosa and another inmate, Raul Yap, were killed.
“You haven’t even entered and you requested for SOCO already. It was as if you called for a funeral even before the encounter,” Lacson remarked.
Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon said it was quite obvious the killing was premeditated, noting that at least two calls were made to the RTOC, at least 40 minutes before the supposed firefight broke out inside the jail.
“It was a bad script,” Drilon said.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said all the signs point to the killing of Espinosa being premeditated.
What is still unclear to him is who ordered the killing.
Sen. Leila de Lima, whose name was allegedly in the list of personalities linked to the illegal drug activities of the Espinosas, also believed the killing was premeditated.
Sen. Grace Poe noted the various inconsistencies in the testimonies of the CIDG, which also gave her the sense that the killing was premeditated.
“They had planned for the encounter way in advance to go through the trouble of applying for a warrant when in fact the mayor was already locked up in a government facility,” Poe said.
Several senators questioned the procedure taken in applying for the search warrant as well as the necessity of doing this at all.
Drilon pointed out it was unnecessary for the CIDG team to apply for search warrant because the subject of the search was already in jail.
He explained search warrants are required under the law to protect an individual against unreasonable searches and seizures and his right to privacy.
Since Espinosa was in jail, Drilon said he had lost that right within the jail cell.
He added that searches of jail cells are conducted regularly without the need for a warrant.
Drilon said the only purpose for the CIDG team to apply for such warrant was “to give the color of legitimacy” to their operation.
Sotto also questioned why the CIDG applied for the search warrant at the regional trial court of Samar, instead of Leyte.
Chief Insp. Leo Laraga, leader of the CIDG raiding team, said this was not entirely unusual and there was a compelling reason to do this.
Laraga said there were several politicians from Leyte who were involved with the Espinosa drug group and because of their influence in the province, they did not want to risk exposing their operation by applying for the warrant in Leyte.
Citing social media reports and the affidavit allegedly executed by Espinosa, Laraga said Baybay Vice Mayor Michael Cari, Ormoc Mayor Richard Gomez, Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso and Leyte Gov. Leopoldo Petilla were all linked to the Espinosa drug group.
Laraga claimed Espinosa was not the main target of the operation of his team but Yap who, according to an informant, was trying to sell drugs from his jail cell.
The informant was allegedly told to go to Espinosa, when he saw the mayor with a .45 caliber pistol.
After being so apprised, Laraga said he relayed this information to Marcos, who approved the operation against Espinosa and Yap.
Laraga admitted he was the one who shot Espinosa.
Upon the prodding of Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto, Laraga admitted he did not coordinate the operation with the warden of the Baybay jail before entering the premises even though this was a requirement in the warrant.
Marcos also admitted he did not coordinate with his superiors, particularly with Eastern Visayas police director Chief Supt. Elmer Beltejar and Obusan.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Deputy Chief of Operations Benjamin Magalong said the operations involving high profile targets should be relayed to all commanders.
“Both personalities should have been informed beforehand, even days before when they were planning their operation,” Magalong said.
“They should have coordinated with and informed his commanders. They should have specified their roles, mission and objective. Everything should be very clear, especially the instructions laid out in the search warrant,” he added.
Magalong said Marcos and his team violated the police standard operating procedures and the conditions set by the judge in the warrant.
PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa ordered the relief of the 24 policemen involved in the raid.
Aside from the 18 policemen of the regional CIDG, Dela Rosa also ordered six operatives of the Eastern Visayas Regional Maritime Unit (RMU) relieved and sent to the PNP Holding Center in Camp Crame to face investigation.
The relieved police officials include Matira, Laraga, Senior Insps. Eric Constantino, Fritz Blanco and Marcos.
A senator, who declined to be named, said Marcos has a lot to answer for given the fact that his relative, journalist Lalaine Jimenea, was in the list of names allegedly involved in illegal drugs provided by Espinosa. Jimenea is a correspondent for The STAR in Leyte.
The senator said that it was highly questionable for Marcos to take part in the operation when his relative was allegedly involved with Espinosa.
Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido, Albuera police chief, said he was the one who assisted Espinosa in executing his affidavit.
Espinosa’s older brother Ramon recently claimed his brother did not prepare the affidavit and was just made to sign a prepared document.
Espenido said De Lima was in the list and her involvement was confirmed by Espinosa’s son Roland Kevin, who allegedly saw her on two separate occasions.
The first was at Burnham Park in Baguio City where De Lima and Mayor Espinosa’s other son, Kerwin, talked for several minutes.
Mayor Espinosa himself confirmed that he saw De Lima personally at a restaurant in Dampa along Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay City where Kevin said P8 million in cash was delivered to her.
Also in the affidavit of Espinosa was Matira, who had an entry under the name of “Sir Atiram.”
De Lima denied knowing any the Espinosas and receiving any money from them.
She argued it was clear that the people who prepared the affidavit did their research on her and cited the times when and the two places where she was definitely present. – Jaime Laude
RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK
SENATE PROBE ON ESPINOSA'S DEATH: Pacquiao lectures CIDG on issuance of search warrant Published November 10, 2016 12:34pm By KATHRINA CHARMAINE ALVAREZ, GMA News
“‘Yung mga paliwanag ninyo [CIDG], napakababaw para paniwalaan. Can you imagine yung parang natatakot magsalita yung kapwa niyong pulis, mga jail guards, pati provincial warden, parang may tinatago na gustong sabihin, sabihin ang katotohanan,” Pacquiao said.
Senator Manny Pacquiao on Thursday lectured the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) during the Senate committee hearing on the death of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa.
Pacquiao questioned why the CIDG issued a search warrant on Espinosa, noting that the local official was already detained at the Baybay Sub-Provincial Jail on drug-related charges.
“Ginagamit itong search warrant because of the right of the people to be secured in right to privacy, property, and persons,” Pacquiao explained.
“Wala na’tong right to privacy kasi nakakulong siya. Hindi na niya kailangan mag-apply ng search warrant. No need kasi nakakulong na siya ... nasa government facility na siya,” Pacquiao said.
The search warrant was issued on Espinosa around 4 a.m. Saturday, November 5.
Pacquiao said it was suspicious that the CIDG had to even request for a search warrant.
“Kahit simpleng tao, maiisip niya, mahirap. Ako suportado ko kayo sa fight against illegal drugs pero kung may pinoprotektahan kayo o involved kayo sa droga, pasensyahan tayo, hindi ninyo ako kasama,” the senator said.
“Kasi kahinahinala. First time, ngayon ko lang narinig na kukuha ng warrant sa kulungan [para] sa nakakulong eh anytime pwede kausapin yung warden,” Pacquiao added.
Chief Inspector Leo Laraga, the police officer who led the CIDG team that raided the cell of Espinosa, said the jail guards were “uncooperative.”
Homobono Bardillon, the provincial jail warden, however, said the CIDG team did not coordinate with them.
Pacquiao said he finds it hard to believe the CIDG’s testimony.
“‘Yung mga paliwanag ninyo, napakababaw para paniwalaan. Can you imagine yung parang natatakot magsalita yung kapwa niyong pulis, mga jail guards, pati provincial warden, parang may tinatago na gustong sabihin, sabihin ang katotohanan,” Pacquiao said.
“Tumataas yung blood pressure ko…Ayoko naman atakihin lahat ng PNP,” he added.
Espinosa and drug suspect Raul Yap were killed in an alleged shootout inside the provincial jail.
According to operatives of the CIDG who killed Espinosa inside his jail cell, the mayor fired at them first.
The CIDG claims the shootout happened when it tried to serve a search warrant on the mayor for possession of drugs and a firearm inside the jail. — RSJ, GMA News
https://youtu.be/gvuLno9Eh7g?t=80 WATCH PACQUIAO LECTURING CIDG AT SENATE PROBE
RELATED FROM PHILSTAR
Duterte backs CIDG's version of Espinosa killing By AJ Bolando (philstar.com) | Updated November 11, 2016 - 1:53pm 12 3244 googleplus2 0
President Rodrigo Duterte believes the version of the story of the raiding team that killed Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa inside his detention cell. Geremy Pintolo
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte defended the raiding team of Criminal Investigation and Detention Group (CIDG) that killed Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa inside his detention cell at Baybay City sub-provincial jail in Leyte.
Coming from his two-day visit to Thailand and Malaysia, Duterte said on Friday that he believed the claim of the cops that it was a shootout when Espinosa fired first.
"Let me state my case as the chief executive of the executive branch: I believe in the version of the police," Duterte said.
He reminded the public that early on his administration that he vowed to back the cops in their drive against illegal drugs.
Senate investigation revealed that the operation of the 24-man raiding team in the provincial jail was premeditated based on the request for Scene of the Crime Operatives even before setting foot in the penitentiary.
The Senate public order committee on Thursday also questioned the request for a search warrant against a subject who is under custody of the government. They also pointed out the request made to Samar court for a warrant when their operation is in Leyte.
Duterte, however, challenged the Senate to file a case against the cops who said that they were just doing their jobs.
READ: Cops called SOCO before killing Espinosa, document shows
"If they have evidence to prove otherwise, then a case must be filed," the president dared.
CIDG Region 8 Regional Director Superintendent Marvin Marcos, who stands as head of the operation, claimed that his men killed a drug lord that destroyed many lives.
“Itong kampanya ng presidente naniniwala kami dito at ‘yung napatay ng mga tauhan ko hindi anghel ’yon, pumapatay ng tao ‘yon, drug lord,” Marcos said at the Senate hearing.
The raiding team composed of 18 cops from CIDG and six from Regional Maritime Unit were relieved from their posts following the investigation of Philippine National Police (PNP) Internal Affairs Service.
PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa reassigned the raiding team to the Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit and vowed that there will be no whitewash in the investigation.
READ: Jail warden doubts ‘under repair’ note in logbook, insists CCTV working
Dela Rosa added that charges will be filed against the raiding team violations are proven, but Duterte assured that they have his full support.
Walang dapat ikatakot ang mga pulis. Suportado ko sila. Kung sabihin nila bakit susupo
Duterte believes CIDG version of Espinosa killing by philstarnews
Lacson: Mayor Espinosa’s slay a ‘clear case of extrajudicial killing’ SENATOR SEEKS REVIVAL OF EJK PROBE By: Tarra Quismundo - Reporter / @TarraINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 02:22 PM November 05, 2016
Senator Panfilo Lacson. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES
MANILA, Philippines— Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson is keen to call for a resumption of the just concluded Senate inquiry into the spate of drug-related deaths following Saturday’s killing of drug suspect Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., who was said to have fought back police while being served an arrest warrant at a Leyte jail.
Lacson said he would discuss with Senate justice and human rights committee chair Richard Gordon the possibility of resuming the investigation as he called Espinosa’s killing “a clear case of EJK (extrajudicial killing).”
READ: Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa killed in ‘firefight’ inside jail
“I think that incident is the biggest challenge to the credibility of the PNP that could affect even the other operations involving drug suspects killed under similarly suspicious circumstances,” said Lacson, a former national police chief.
“I will discuss the possibility of resuming the EJK investigation with Sen Gordon and focus on the Espinosa killing when session resumes on Monday,” he said.
Lacson, chair of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, co-led the inquiry which wrapped up last month. Gordon is expected to finalize the committee report at the resumption of the session this week.
READ: Senate panel set to clear Duterte on extrajudicial killings
Lacson said his “primary interest” in seeking to revive the probe “is the possible cover up for bigger personalities as motive.”
The lawmaker just could not believe what he described “a very bad script,” that is the official version of how Espinosa had died.
“I can’t understand for the life of me how a prisoner inside a prison cell could even think of fighting back at police officers serving a warrant for his arrest,” said Lacson.
He also cast doubt on why officers of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, instead of a court sheriff, were sent to serve the warrant on Espinosa “since he was detained anyway,” or why it had to be sent personally “when they could simply coordinate with the [jail] warden.”
Lacson also noted that the prisoner sharing Espinosa’s cell was also killed, “therefore no witness could testify.”
“Now, I dare them to answer these questions and more in order to convince me to believe their story,” he said in response to a request for comment.
RELATED FROM PHILSTAR
Cops called SOCO before killing Espinosa, document shows By AJ Bolando (philstar.com) | Updated November 10, 2016 - 1:45pm 1 713 googleplus0 0
Photos on obtained by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism show the body of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. lying flat on his back with his eyes half-open, and both of his hands empty. Image obtained by PCIJ/Nancy Carvajal
Raiding team leader denies timeline
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED 1:52 p.m.) — Senators on Thursday noted that the Crime Investigation and Detention Group (CIDG) summoned the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) even before entering the Leyte provincial jail and killing Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa in an alleged jail raid.
Based on the timeline submitted to the Senate public order committee the raiding team called for SOCO to inspect the scene at 3:49 a.m., but the CIDG entered the jail at 4:30 a.m., panel chair Sen. Panfilo Lacson noted at the first public hearing on the mayor's death.
“Bakit nagre-request na kayo ng SOCO kahit hindi pa kayo nakakapasok? Ina-anticipate ninyo ba na may papatayin kayo?” Lacson asked.
“Para kayong tumatawag ng punerarya, wala pang engkwentro,” he added.
Superintendent Santi Noel Matira, who supervised the CIDG operation, admitted that he made the call but he was unaware of the time, claiming that he made the call call right after the supposed fire fight against Espinosa.
Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy chief for operations Director Benjamin Magalong said that his office questioned the raiding team about the SOCO call when they held a meeting on Wednesday prior to the Senate hearing.
Lacson said that the killing could be proven to be premeditated, based on the call for SOCO.
READ: Photos tell 2 stories on Espinosa death: Shootout or rubout?
Espinosa was killed inside his detention cell on Saturday after cops served a search
RELATED FROM PHILSTAR
Lacson: Kerwin Espinosa must live to tell his story By AJ Bolando (philstar.com) | Updated November 10, 2016 - 2:25pm 1 120 googleplus0 0
Rolan "Kerwin" Espinosa, wanted on drug and gun possession charges, was arrested in Abu Dhabi in October. File photo
MANILA, Philippines – With his mayor father dead, alleged drug lord Rolan "Kerwin" Espinosa is now an important personality because of the information on illegal drugs that he may have.
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said on Thursday that the government must ensure Kerwin's safety after the death of his father Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa.
The younger Espinosa has an alleged “blue book” that contains “validated” names of politicians who were recipients of drug money allegedly used in the recent election campaign.
READ: Cops called SOCO before killing Espinosa, document shows
“The list includes recipients of campaign contributions in the recent 2016 national and local elections,” Lacson said.
“Therefore, unlike his late father, the Albuera mayor, he must live to tell his story,” he added.
Kerwin, who went into hiding after President Rodrigo Duterte issued a shoot-to-kill order against him and his father, was arrested in Abu Dhabi in October. The process to repatriate him is ongoing.
READ: Albuera police chief denies Espinosa forced to sign ‘ready-made’ affidavit
Lacson said that the “imminent deportation” of Kerwin Espinosa “must be given utmost attention and security.”
Mayor Espinosa, arrested in October on drugs and firearms charges, was killed inside his detention cell after operatives of the regional Crime Investigation and Detention Group served a search warrant for illegal drugs and guns against him. He supposedly shot at police, leading to the firefight where he and another detainee were killed.
Albuera police chief Jovie Espenido said that aside from the blue book that Kerwin has, Mayor Espinosa also had a “pink book” with names of people allegedly involved in illegal drugs.
In his affidavit, Mayor Espinosa tagged 50 names, including Sen. Leila de Lima and other government officials.
READ: PNP relieves 24 cops in Espinosa killing
GMA NEWS NETWORK
19 cops involved in Mayor Espinosa’s killing to face administrative charges Published November 9, 2016 11:15am
Nineteen police officers who served search warrants at the Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail which led to the death of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and another inmate will be facing administrative charges.
“At this point, we believe that we will be levying for administrative complaints for operatives involved both from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Region 8 and Regional Maritime Unit,” Internal Affairs Service (IAS) deputy inspector general Chief Supt. Leo Angelo Leuterio said in an interview aired on Unang Balita.
“We will be levying administrative case for them for grave misconduct so if they are found guilty or culpable of this violation, they can be dismissed from the service,” Leuterio added.
Thirteen of the police officers are members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Region 8 and the other six are members of the Philippine National Police Maritime Group.
Leuterio said the involved officers were asked to submit their affidavits before the Regional IAS 8, which is conducting the investigation.
“In the interest of due process, they are now being asked to submit their affidavits to us, RIAS 8, hinihintay namin yun,” he said.
He said RIAS 8 is now on the pre-charged investigation of the case.
“Pagkatapos niyan, formal hearings will be conducted,” he said.
Leuterio, meanwhile, said that jail guards at the sub-provincial jail have expressed readiness to testify on the incident.
Members of the CIDG Region 8, headed by Chief Inspector Leo Laraga, killed Espinosa and drug suspect Raul Yap during the implementation of search warrants against the two inmates around 4 a.m. Saturday.
The Department of Interior and Local Government released Tuesday the names of the 19 police officers involved.
The 13 members of CIDG Region 8 were:
•Superintendent Santi Noel G. Matira, Designated Supervisor
•Chief Inspector Leo D. Laraga, Team Leader
•Senior Inspector Deogracias Diaz III, Assistant Team Leader
•Senior Inspector Fritz Blanco, Assistant Team Leader
•Senior Police Officer 4 Juanito Duarte
•Senior Police Officer 4 Melvin Cayobit
•Senior Police Officer 2 Benjamin Dacallos
•Senior Police Officer 2 Alphinor Serrano Jr.
•Police Officer 3 Jhonny Ibanez
•Police Officer 3 Norman Abellanosa
•Police Officer 1 Bernard Orpilla
•Police Officer 1 Lloyd Ortiguesa
•Police Officer 1 Jerlan Cabiyaan
The six members of Region 8 Maritime Unit were:
•Chief Inspector Calixto C. Canillas, Team Leader
•Senior Inspector Lucrecito A. Candilosas, Assistant Team Leader
•Senior Police Officer 2 Antonio R. Docil
•Senior Police Officer 1 Mark Christian C. Cadilo
•Police Officer 2 Jhon Ruel Ducolan
•Police Officer 2 Jaime P. Bacsal —Amita Legaspi/ALG GMA News
RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER
Albuera police chief asks CIDG: Why was Espinosa killed over 1 gun? By: Joey A. Gabieta, Robert Dejon - @inquirerdotnet / @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Visayas / 11:34 PM November 06, 2016
Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido, chief of the Albuera Municipal Police, who was the first cop to arrest Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and the first to make him name the drug protectors among the police, the local and government officials and judges. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/ ROBERT DEJON)
Chief Inspector Espenido, 1st cop to make Espinosa name drug coddlers, says slay will spook other witnesses
ORMOC CITY — The killing of Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. will have a chilling effect on the other witnesses against police and government officials charged for allegedly providing protection to the illegal drugs operation run by his son, Roland “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr.
“It can instill fear among them. What is the guarantee that they are still safe?” asked Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido, Albuera municipal police chief.
Espenido was the one who convinced Espinosa to execute an affidavit and identify the government and police officials who provided protection to his son Kerwin’s illegal drug trade, the biggest in Eastern Visayas.
The mayor identified 226 names including 19 politicians, four from the judiciary, 38 policemen, seven from Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), one from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, three from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, one from the Army and three from the media.
Separate complaints were later filed against 47 out of the 226 names at the Office of the Ombudsman, the prosecutors’ office and the Philippine National Police.
These included seven government officials including Sen. Leila de Lima, 33 police officers and seven private individuals.
Mayor Espinosa was a vital witness to these cases.
In exchange of the affidavit, Espenido assured the mayor of his safety and allowed him to stay in his police station until Oct. 5 when he was transferred to a sub-provincial jail in Baybay City to face charges of illegal possession of firearms and drugs.
Exactly a month after his transfer to the facility, Espinosa was killed in what the Criminal Investigation Group in Eastern Visayas (CIDG-8) claimed was a shootout.
Fifteen members of the CIDG team barged into the facility at 3 a.m. on Nov. 5 to serve a search warrant on Espinosa whom they suspected to be keeping shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) inside his cell.
The CIDG-8 claimed that Espinosa shot them, prompting them to fire at him, hitting the mayor in the head, chest and stomach.
Also killed in the raid was Raul Yap, a native of Albuera who was detained on drug charges.
The raiding team recovered a .38-pistol and a pack of shabu from the cell of Espinosa and a .45-pistol, 27 packs of marijuana and 21 sachets of shabu from Yap.
Before they left, the CIDG reportedly took the hard drive connected to the close circuit television cameras.
Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Philippine National Police chief, who assured Espinosa of his safety, ordered an investigation on the shootout.
A team from Camp Crame arrived on Sunday to start their investigation on the deaths of Espinosa and Yap.
Espenido said he was surprised by the raid conducted by the CIDG on Espinosa who was killed for allegedly possessing a single firearm.
“We have conducted raids (against Espinosa) involving packs of shabu and cache of firearms. We did not harm or kill him. He eventually surrendered. But for a single firearm (he was killed)?” Espenido said.
He told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that he planned to visit the wake of Espinosa in his house in Barangay Tinago, Albuera.
“I will apologize to his family. I really thought that he would be safe if he was detained at the (Leyte sub-provincial jail) but unfortunately, he was killed,” Espenido said.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer tried to reach Supt. Marvin Marcos, CIDG-8 chief, but he declined to grant an interview.
Incidentally, Marcos’ aunt, Lalaine Jimenea, publisher of a local paper in Ormoc was one of those who were linked by Espinosa to Kerwin’s illegal drug operation.
Jimenea, who had denied the charges, was among the seven persons charged at the Regional State Prosecutor’s office in Leyte for allegedly receiving payola from Kerwin.
Aside from Jimenea, the others charged by Espenido after they were linked by Espinosa were Senator De Lima; Vice Mayor Jonah John Ungab of Ronda town in Cebu; businessmen Eufrocino “Winnie” Codilla Jr.; Victor Espina Jr., brother of former Philippine National Police officer-in-charge and retired Director
General Leonardo Espina; and retired Bureau of Jail Management and Penology warden Joseph Nuñez who was warden of the Ormoc City jail when Kerwin was previously detained.
Several policemen were also facing administrative complaints at the Regional Internal Affairs Service (RIAS).
Among them were Supt. Joey Masauding, former CIDG-8 director; Senior Supt. Jose Macanas, former Ormoc police director; and Supt.Ibrahim Jambiran, former intelligence police chief in Ormoc.
Espinosa was the prime witness in all these cases.
According to Albert Hidalgo, former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in Leyte, the affidavit executed by Espinosa lost its probative value with his death.
But he added the affidavit could be used to corroborate testimonies of other witnesses.
Hidalgo said the danger of using the affidavit of Espinosa in court was that it would be open to questions by the defense counsels during cross examination.
“The affidavit will just be hearsay (now that Espinosa is dead),” Hidalgo said.
Leilani Villarino, Espinosa’s legal counsel, said the family had not decided whether or not to press charges against the CIDG.
She said they would first wait for the outcome of the investigation before deciding on their next step. SFM
RELATED(2) FROM PHILSTAR
Aguirre: Kerwin Espinosa wants witness protection (philstar.com) | Updated November 10, 2016 - 6:52pm 1 12 googleplus0 0
Undated photo released by Interpol shows Filipino major drug kingpin Rolando "Kerwin" Espinosa Jr. who was arrested Sunday night in an apartment in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Interpol via AP
MANILA, Philippines (Philippines News Agency) — Rolan "Kerwin" Espinosa Jr., the alleged big-time drug lord from the Eastern Visayas, wants to be placed in the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice once he returns from the United Arab Emirates.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II made the statement after he received a letter from the Philippine ambassador to UAE Constancio Vingno Jr., saying Espinosa has expressed his intention to be placed under the WPP.
"He could qualify for WPP because he appears to be not the most guilty (in the drug trafficking crime). When there's someone else from the government, then that person could be the most guilty," Aguirre told reporters in a press conference.
Aguirre said Kerwin must first execute an affidavit before he can be admitted to the WPP.
He said that while the affidavit executed by his father lost its probative value, he could corroborate it through his own affidavit.
Espinosa, who was arrested in the United Arab Emirates after months of hiding, is set to return to the country as he would be fetched by the Philippine National Police from the UAE, Aguirre said.
He said three PNP officers are set to leave for Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Aguirre said once Espinosa arrives, he will be brought to the PNP custodial center before being turned over with his sworn statement to WPP custody.
Kerwin's father, Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, who was earlier tagged by President Rodrigo Duterte as one of the politicians linked to the illegal drugs trade, was shot and killed along with another inmate at the Baybay Sub-Provincial Jail on Nov. 5.
The Senate held a hearing on Espinosa's death on Thursday over concerns that it was an extrajudicial killing.
Aguirre said that the government needs to be extra careful in securing Espinosa after the mayor's death.
The DOJ has already ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to probe the mayor's killing during a supposed shootout with policemen serving a search warrant.
Aguirre said Espinosa’s family also needs be secured.
Last October, his former wife Annalou Llaguno, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen riding motorcycle.
“I was told even the family because of what happened to his father, Kerwin is afraid of his safety as well as that of his family. So, either we are going to accept him at the WPP kasama yung pamilya niya (Either we are going to accept him alone or we will also place his family under the WPP),” he added.
Meanwhile, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who spearheaded the probe on the killing of the Albuera town mayor says the government must protect Kerwin once he is brought back to the Philippines, as he can identify his supposed protectors in government.
Sought for comment on the ongoing Senate hearing, Aguirre urged Sen. Leila de Lima to inhibit from the investigation since she was implicated by the late mayor in Kerwin's alleged illegal drugs operations. —PNA with a report from Philstar.com/Rosette Adel
MANILA TIMES (OPINION)
Donald Trump’s triumph, Espinosa’s murder: a tale of two political tsunamis
BY YEN MAKABENTA ON ON NOVEMBER 10, 2016 OPINION ON PAGE ONE
BY YEN MAKABENTA -
THE column that I was writing on the murder of Mayor RolandoEspinosa while in police custody, was overtaken by the political tsunami that occurred in America yesterday– the surprise electoral victory of Republican Donald Trump in the US presidential election.
This development is so seismic and far-reaching in impact, I had to quickly redesign my column into a split-level structure:
1. One level discussing the shocking murder of Mayor Rolando Espinosa inside his jail cell in Baybay, Leyte; and
2. A second level discussing the significance of Trump’s ascent to the presidency of the most powerful nation and biggest economy in the planet.
These two developments, in their respective ways, will impact deeply and profoundly the presidency of President Duterte–his domestic and foreign policies, and the way he governs this nation.
They force a review of policies that were adopted without thorough study and review, during the first four months of Duterte rule.
If DU30 is thoughtful and receptive of expert analysis and counsel, he will view these events not only as challenges to the wisdom of his policy decisions, but as opportunities to review and, if necessary, alter course.
Drug war not worth one more life
The war on illegal drugs that President Duterte launched immediately after taking his oath, has already claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 victims. If the Filipino nation is true to its values and its Constitution, Espinosa’s extra-judicial killing should be the last. The people must call for an end to the drug war.
Filipinos should look up expert reports and analyses of the entire history on record of the War on Drugs, which was initiated by Richard Nixon in 1971.
“The War on Drugs” is an American term commonly applied to a campaign of prohibition of drugs, military aid, and military intervention, with the stated aim being to reduce the illegal drug trade.
This initiative includes a set of drug policies that are intended to discourage the production, distribution, and consumption of psychoactive drugs that the participating governments and the United Nations have made illegal.
Today, the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates an end to the War on Drugs, estimates that the United States spends $51 billion annually on these initiatives.
In May 2009, the Obama administration declared that it would not use the term “War on Drugs”, because the term is “counter-productive,” and “drug addiction is a disease that can be successfully prevented and treated…”
In June 2011, a self-appointed Global Commission on Drug Policy released a critical report on the War on Drugs, declaring: “The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world. Fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and years after President Nixon launched the US government’s war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed.”
These developments in the global war on drugs suggest that President Duterteshould review from top to bottom his ongoing war on drugs.
The basic premise and stated aim of the drug war is to eliminate down to the last drug dealer or suspect the illegal drug trade in the country.
This policy evolved from a picture or belief of the president that illegal drugs is the biggest problem in the Philippines, the root, if you wish, of all evils and all problems.
Like George Bush who could not find Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)” to justify his war on Iraq, Duterte is hard put to find credible justification for his drug war, and the thousands of killings that it has caused.
If he means to continue the drug war, President Duterte should address the nation and report frankly and boldly how the government has fared in the drug war.
He should acknowledge the many tragedies and humiliations inflicted on the nation by the drug war—and apologize for them.
The drug war has cost our people many lives. It is time for our people to tell their government that this war is not worth one more life. If Espinosa proves to be the last casualty ofthe drug war, his death would at least gain some meaning.
The meaning of Trump’s victory
Donald Trump has wrought “fear and change” into the fabric of American life, in a parody of Barack Obama’s message of hope and change. He is riding the crest of the tidal wave he unleashed with his promise to make America great again.
Trump is the change agent in a realignment of American political forces.
With his election, America joins the global populist movement that has swept into power political leaders who speak for and working people.
Perhaps the finest analysis of Trump‘s significance was that of Patrick Buchanan, which was published a day before the election.
Buchanan wrote: “Whatever happens Tuesday, Trump has made history and has forever changed American politics.
“Though a novice in politics, he captured the party of Lincoln with the largest turnout of primary voters ever, and he has inflicted wounds on the nation’s ruling class from which it may not soon recover….
“Not only did he rout the Republican elites, he ash-canned their agenda and repudiated the wars into which they plunged the country.
“Trump did not create the forces that propelled his candidacy, but he recognized them, tapped into them and unleashed a gusher of nationalism and populism that will not soon dissipate.
Do mainstream Republicans think that should Trump lose, a Bush Restoration lies ahead? The dynasty is as dead as the Romanovs.
The media, whose reputation has sunk to congressional depths, has also suffered a blow to their credibility….
But it is the national establishment that has suffered most.
The Trump candidacy exposed what seems an unbridgeable gulf between this political class and the nation in whose name it purports to speak….
“Middle America believes the establishment is not looking out for the nation but for retention of its power….
“Trump’s followers believe Trump alone will secure the borders and rid them of a trade regime that has led to the loss of 70,000 factories and 5 million manufacturing jobs since NAFTA. They believe Trump is the best hope for keeping us out of the wars the Beltway think tanks are already planning for the sons of the “deplorables” to fight.”
Duterte and Trump
Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte are products of the same populist revolt sweeping the world today, the same wave that produced Brexit in the United Kingdom.
Duterte should recognize a kindred spirit in the new US president. He should think twice about testing his expletives on Trump when they finally meet.
He should wait and see how Trump and the Republicans will deal with China and Russia. Then will be the time for Duterte to speak about separation, divorce, or perhaps reconciliation.
ALSO FROM THE INQUIRER BY S. MONSOD
Triple whammy By: Solita Collas-Monsod - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:16 AM November 12, 2016
BY SOLITA MONSOD
Reader, the past seven days produced a triple whammy (defined as an event with a powerful and unpleasant effect), which left yours truly, and I think most right-thinking Filipinos, reeling against the ropes.
The first whammy came on Nov. 5, with the news that Mayor Rolando Espinosa of Albuera, Leyte, had been killed while he was in jail. By more than a dozen policemen and officers of Region 8 CIDG. In the early hours of the morning.
Why a whammy? Because the incident was so blatantly an extrajudicial killing, perpetrated by the police. The cops who killed Espinosa arrived at the jail at around 4 a.m., “to serve a search warrant” on him. They broke police protocol, to the extent of breaking into the jail and treating the jail guards like prisoners (the guards had refused to let them in). None of the guards were present when Espinosa was killed.
The photos taken after the incident by the police and by the Soco (scene of the crime operatives) clearly differed from each other. And the cover story was so flimsy it was evident that the police were confident that they would get away with it.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, no stranger to EJKs, pronounced it as clearly “premeditated.” But what is chilling is that Espinosa, or so I thought, had been assured of safety by PNP chief Roland “Bato” dela Rosa himself. Remember his much-publicized surrender to Bato in Camp Crame last August?
Come the questions: If the police aren’t in fear of Dela Rosa, who do they answer to? The big drug lords? Or is this a moro-moro? What about the judge who signed the search warrant—was he so dumb that he hadn’t heard of Espinosa’s incarceration? Why should a warrant be issued to search a man in a prison cell? And why is President Duterte quick to take the side of the police without even an investigation? Where does that leave us law-abiding Filipinos?
The second whammy was delivered on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court decided, 9-5, to allow the burial of Ferdinand Marcos’ remains in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. I was expecting a 7-7 decision, but a 9-5? It was incredible. I had to read the decisions and the dissents posted after a delay. The ponente was Justice Diosdado Peralta, with two concurring opinions (Associate Justices Lucas Bersamin and Arturo Brion) and two separate opinions (Justices Jose Perez and Jose Mendoza). The four dissenting opinions were written by Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, Senior AJ Antonio Carpio, and AJs Marvic Leonen and Benjamin Caguioa.
The ponencia asserted that the case was not even justiciable, and all the other little details—remember the saying about getting so involved in the trees that you forget there’s a forest? That’s what comes to mind when reading Peralta’s ponencia. He was so bent on the trees that he even added the phrase “active military,” as in “He was neither convicted by final judgment of the offense involving moral turpitude nor dishonorably separated/reverted/discharged from active military service.” I don’t recall the disqualifications containing the phrase. I guess he wanted to make sure that Marcos does not fall under “dishonorably discharged” commander in chief.
I don’t expect people to read all the opinions. The ponencia and one dissenting opinion will do; the 11-page Carpio dissent says it all. The pros outnumber the cons. But in the eyes of history, the quality of the dissenting opinions will stand out. That’s small comfort. My heart is still broken by the Supreme Court’s betrayal of the country’s trust, as it did in 1972, when it declared that martial law was a political decision, and that the judiciary should not interfere.
The third whammy that hit me was Donald Trump’s victory. That was totally unexpected. Why a whammy? We all watched the debates and saw that he was a tax evader, a sexual predator, and didn’t even have any plans backing his promises. Plus he employed the hate campaign that Joe McCarthy used against the communists way back when. Hillary Clinton won hands down.
One explanation by the pollsters of why they were wrong was that Americans were too ashamed to admit that they were voting for Trump. Well, they should be.
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