After Espinosa slay, PNP open for reinvestigation of EJK
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it is open for a reinvestigation of alleged extrajudicial killings purportedly committed by government forces after it came under fire for the death of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. during a search in his cell last Saturday.
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, chair of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, criticized the PNP, which he formerly led, for the killing of Espinosa, calling it “a clear case of EJK (extrajudicial killing).”
Lacson slammed the PNP for using “a very bad script” in its version of how Espinosa was killed.
“I heard they will initiate another investigation so the PNP is ready to cooperate in any investigation that will be conducted, either by Senate or House or whatever body,” PNP deputy chief for administration Deputy Director General Francisco Uyami Jr. said in a press conference at Camp Crame on Monday.
Asked whether the PNP had committed obvious lapses in the operation, Uyami said the PNP leadership could not speculate until the investigation into the incident is finished.
Uyami said a 15-man team composed of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and regional maritime unit members who raided Espinosa and fellow inmate Raul Yap’s cell were subjected to investigation by the Eastern Visayas regional police’s internal affairs service.
The police official said Eastern Visayas’ regional police director Chief Supt. Elmer Beltejar admitted that the CIDG did not coordinate with the regional police about the implementation of the search warrant.
But CIDG director Chief Supt. Roel Obusan was informed of the operation, according to Uyami.
“Based on the report of CIDG Director the operation was texted to him, that they are going to conduct an operation but as to the details, as to the concept, he was not informed but he was aware that a search warrant will be served against the target,” Uyami said.
He said Obusan received a notice that the CIDG will conduct a raid inside Espinosa’s cell Friday midnight. The operation was carried out around 3 a.m. on Saturday.
Uyami explained that the notice was not detailed because “it will be impractical for all the operatives that every time they serve a search warrant, they will report it to Camp Crame.”
Based on the human rights advisory to police officers implementing search warrant, police are required to do necessary coordination with police units concerned.
In the conduct of search, if the subject refuses to admit the cops to the place of the search, the cops “may break open any outer or inner door or window or any part of a house or anything therein to implement the warrant or liberate himself/herself or any person lawfully aiding him or her when unlawfully detained therein.”
Also, police could only serve the search warrant during day time, except when the warrant allows that it can be served during night time. JE/rga
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