Lacson urges Senate to denounce DOJ over Espinosa slay case
Sen. Panfilo Lacson urged the Senate on Monday to denounce the Department of Justice (DOJ) for downgrading charges against the policemen accused in the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa.
The Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, which Lacson chairs, recommended last March the filing of murder charges against the policemen, led by Supt. Marvin Marcos.
The panel concluded the cops killed Espinosa and another inmate, Raul Yap, in cold blood blood inside a jail in Baybay, Leyte, in November last year.
“The committee report was unanimously adopted by the Senate, and I would say, that says a lot,” Lacson said in a text message.
Lacson said he “spoke too soon” when he commended the DOJ for recommending double murder charges against Marcos and his men.
The National Bureau of Investigation also made the same recommendation after its investigation concluded that the killing of Espinosa and Yap was a rubout and not a shootout.
“It is but fitting that the same Senate denounce the same DOJ which has now turned around and reneged on its mandate to serve justice in a way that the blindfolded lady holding the scale would have wanted it,” Lacson said.
Lacson made the call after the DOJ announced it would be indicting 19 policemen for homicide instead of murder.
With the approval of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, Justice Undersecretary Reynante Orceo downgraded the criminal case to homicide, a lighter and bailable offense.
In a May 29 resolution, a copy of which was released to the media by Aguirre’s office on Thursday, Orceo said the DOJ “cannot speculate or even assume that there was evident premeditation as nothing in the records could prove the same.”
“With the absence of any evidence, it was gravely erroneous for the panel [of prosecutors] to conclude that ‘the records will show that respondents craftily executed the killings under the pretense of implementing a search warrant,’” Orceo said.
The resolution prompted the Leyte provincial prosecutor to file a motion.
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