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MAYOR ESPINOSA KILLING

Court allows cops charged with jail slay detained in CIDG

Supt. Marvin Marcos (right) and one of his coaccused in the murder of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. arrive at the court that issued arrest warrants for them. —ROBERT DEJON

Supt. Marvin Marcos (right) and one of his coaccused in the murder of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. arrive at the court that issued arrest warrants for them. —ROBERT DEJON

BAYBAY CITY—A court here allowed the detention of 19 police officers in a police facility where the officers would be protected from the kind of raid they had been charged with conducting on a jail here that led to the killing of a mayor suspected of involvement in drugs.

The Regional Trial Court (RTC) here allowed Supt. Marvin Marcos and 18 other officers of the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to be detained at CIDG regional facilities in Tacloban City instead of this city’s jail.

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Aside from Marcos, also charged were Supt. Noel Matira, Chief Insp. Leo Laraga, SPO4 Melvin Cayobit, PO3 Jhonny Ibañez, Chief Insp. Calixto Canillas, SPO4 Juanito Duarte, PO1 Lloyd Oeriguesa, Senior Insp. Fritz Blanco, PO1 Bernard Orpilla, Senior Insp. Deogracias Diaz III, SPO2 Benjamin Dacallos, PO3 Norman Abellanosa, PO1 Jerlan Cabiyaan, Insp. Lucrecito Candilosas, SPO2 Antonio Docil, SPO2 Mark Christian Cadilo, PO2 Jhon Ruel Doculan and PO2 Jaime Bascal.

No bail was recommended.

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The officers had been charged with the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and inmate Raul Yap during a raid on the jail where Espinosa had been detained for drugs.

The officers claimed a gunfight led to the killing of Espinosa but a Senate probe found this to be false and collected evidence pointing to a planned execution of the mayor.

Judge Carlos Arguelles Jr., of RTC Branch 14, gave weight to the testimony of Baybay jail warden Lourdes Noveda that there was no more room in the city jail as it had been overcrowded already by more than 300 percent.

Noveda told the court there are already 75 inmates in the jail which was built for only 25 detainees.

Marcos and his coaccused were brought to the sala of Arguelles on Tuesday to show the court that the warrant of arrest that it issued for the officers had been served.

The judge questioned Noveda to determine where the officers are to be detained.

Noveda told the court that if the policemen would be detained at the city jail, it would require more jail guards.

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After Noveda’s testimony, Arguelles allowed the temporary detention of the policemen at the CIDG detention cell in Tacloban City.

At the Senate, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who headed the Senate probe of Espinosa’s killing, said it appeared that President Duterte, who had defended the policemen and said he believed their story, did not lift a finger to influence the court that issued the warrants for the policemen’s arrests.

Marcos and the other officers surrendered after Arguelles issued a warrant for their arrests.

On Monday, the suspects underwent booking procedure and medical checkup inside the regional CIDG headquarters inside the port compound of Tacloban City.

“They were all silent but were calm,” said Supt. Teodulo Armada, regional CIDG deputy chief. —WITH A REPORT FROM CHRISTINE AVENDAÑO

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TAGS: 19 police officers, Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Killing, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., Supt. Marvin Marcos
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