Lacson: Mayor Espinosa’s slay a ‘clear case of extrajudicial killing’
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).”
“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.
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.
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