Cops in Espinosa slay say complaint by NBI ‘reckless’
Police officers accused of murder for the death of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. branded as reckless the complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against them.
First, Atty. Roland Inting, speaking for the 12 lawyers of all the police officers, said the NBI failed to prove that there was conspiracy among 24 police officers.
“Conspiracy has to be proven with the same evidence as what they say about the alleged murder [but] they have not come up such an evidence,” Inting said.
The respondent police officers filed their respective counter-affidavits denying their participation in the alleged murder.
Inting said the respondents gave a detailed account on what they were doing and where they were on the day Espinosa was killed inside the Baybay jail.
Second, he said aside from lack of evidence, the NBI included in the case names that are either wrongly designated, was on leave during the incident or the name was included by mistake.
Inting was referring to Police Officers 1 (PO1) Jane Briones Gisma and Divine Grace Baclas Songalia who both said they were not part of the November 5 operation.
On the other hand, PO2 Niel Patrimonio Centino has been absent without official leave since Oct. 5, 2016 or exactly a month before Espinosa and Yap were killed inside the Baybay Jail.
“That basically put into question the complaint,” Inting said.
On the other hand, Espinosa’s son Kerwin appeared before the DOJ and submitted a complaint-affidavit against the same police officers.
Espinosa’s counsel Atty. Lailano Villarino said the complaint was basically similar to the complaint filed by the NBI.
“There has to be a private complainant,” Villarino said.
The panel of prosecutors gave the police officers up to Feb. 2 to respond to Espinosa’s affidavit.
The proceedings stemmed from the murder robbery, malicious procurement of search warrant, perjury and planting of evidence charges that were filed by the NBI against Marcos, Superintendent Santi Noel Gaspang Matira, Chief Inspector Leo Daio Laraga, Senior Inspector (SI) Deogracia Pedong Diaz, SI Fritz Bioco Blanco, Senior Police Officer 4 Juanito Ampado Duarte, SPO4 Melvin Mendoza Caboyit, SPO4 Eric Palattao Constantino, SPO2 Benjamin Layague Dacallos, SPO2 Alphinor Milla Serrano, Jr., PO3 Johnny Abuda Ibanez, PO3 Norman Tiu Abellanosa, PO2 Niel Patrimonio Centino, PO1 Bernard Rodriguez Orpilla, PO3 Lloyd Ortinez Ortiguesa, PO1 Jerlan Sadia Cabiyaan, Cristal Jane Briones Gisma, Divine Grace Baclas Songalia, all assigned at CIDG Regional Office No. 08, Port Area, Tacloban City as well as PCINSP Calixto Cabardo Canillas, Jr., PINSP Lucresito Adana Candelosas, SPO2 Antonio Romangca Docil, SPO1 Mark Christian Castillo Cadilo, PO2 John Ruel Baldevia Doculan, and PO2 Jaime Pacuan Bacsal, all assigned at Regional Maritime Unit 8 Port Area, Tacloban City.
The NBI also recommended the filing of perjury charges against PCINSP Leo Diao Laraga and PO3 Norman T. Abellanosa.
Also charged with perjury and malicious procurement of search warrant was Paul Olendan, the witness used by the police to obtain the search warrants against Espinosa and Yap from Judge Tarcelo Sabarre Jr. of the Regional Trial Court branch 30 in Basey, Samar. RAM/rga
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