Espenido can expect legal support from PNP, says spokesperson
Ozamiz City Police Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido can expect legal support from the Philippine National Police (PNP) when he faces homicide charges over a raid that killed six people, PNP Spokesperson Chief Supt. Benigno Durana said on Thursday.
“Since Espenido’s action during that incident that resulted to some deaths of people is […] in the performance of function, definitely we will support our people in their legal struggle,” Durana said in a press conference at Camp Crame.
However, he said that it is up to Espenido if he will avail the services of lawyers from the PNP, or if he will opt to hire private lawyers.
“Meron po tayong legal service sa PNP (We have legal service at the PNP), and of course having a legal counsel they should have familiarity and confidence who will represent in court. So depende iyan (it depends) if he wants to avail the services of the legal service,” Durana explained.
“At the same time, if he wants to hire a lawyer that depends on him, probably the PNP can support him not actually [to] represent him in court but to provide him with some legal advice from the legal service,” he added.
Durana said the PNP respects the legal action of the slain suspects’ relatives, but police officers involved also have a right to legal remedies.
“That’s a legal remedy ng bawat isa (of each one). Yung asawa (The spouse) I think ng isa sa mga namatay (of one of those who died), that’s their legal remedy under the law,” Durana said.
“But at the same time, those that are being accused […] [they have the] right to due process and the legal remedy to defend themselves,” he added.
Earlier, the Department of Justice (DOJ) recommended the filing of six counts of homicide against Espenido and three other police personnel for the infamous Ozamiz raid.
In June 2017, Espenido led a hot pursuit operation where an entire family was killed. He and the other accused admitted to killing the suspects, but insisted that it was done in self-defense as they were fired at first. /ee
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