Duterte: Cops accused in deadly prison raid could be pardoned, even promoted
President Duterte on Friday said he was not only willing to pardon the police officers accused of murdering drug suspect and Albuera, Leyte, Mayor Rolando Espinosa, but he could even promote them afterward.
Mr. Duterte stressed he would not interfere with the legal process, noting that it was the Department of Justice which filed the murder charges against the police officers in November for killing Espinosa during a purported raid on his jail cell.
Nineteen members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Eastern Visayas, led by Supt. Marvin Marcos, have been detained and are awaiting trial. They claimed that Espinosa and another inmate were killed in a shootout during the raid.
But Mr. Duterte stressed that he could not abandon the law enforcers and would use his constitutional power to pardon them.
“Because they could have really followed my orders,” President Duterte said.
Should Marcos and his men be convicted, the President said he would take care of it.
“Tell the judge to wait a while. Pardon. Give this to the judge,” he said he would tell them.
The President said he would even be willing to do more than just restore their full political and civil rights.
“And reinstated order with the promotion one rank higher,” he said, stressing that as long as the police force followed his order, he would also take care of them.
He has insisted that his order to law enforcers was to arrest drug suspects, but to not hesitate to kill them if confronted with violent resistance.
On Friday, the President also questioned those who side with Espinosa, who had been detained for charges of possession of drugs and unlicensed firearms. His trial had yet to be concluded when he was killed.
“Why do you grieve for a son of a bitch? He destroyed half of the Visayas. How many crazy people are now left unattended, whose families have been destroyed?” Mr. Duterte said.
“When you destroy somebody there in the family, that family is eternally dysfunctional. When the father becomes crazy then you grieve for this idiot who was supposedly killed inside [his cell]. Shit,” he added.
Espinosa’s lawyer earlier said that the trial of Marcos and the other police officers might not be finished before Mr. Duterte’s term was over, dashing any hopes that they would be pardoned if found guilty.
But in a speech in Oriental Mindoro on Wednesday, Mr. Duterte said police officers could skip trial and go straight to pleading guilty, and he could pardon them.
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