Supt. Marcos reverted to duty, not reinstated, PNP clarifies
The 19 policemen implicated in the killing of Albuera, Leyte, Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and his fellow detainee Raul Yap were not really reinstated but only reverted to duty, Camp Crame said on Friday.
Malacañang also downplayed suggestions that official actions on Supt. Marvin Marcos and 18 other policemen involved in the killings undermined the law and would demoralize security forces.
But Public Information Office (PIO) head Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos disputed such claims and said Marcos and the 18 other policemen were not exonerated and continue to face criminal and administrative charges.
Aside from the criminal charges, Carlos said that Marcos and his coaccused also have pending demotion and suspension cases with the PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS).
Just following SOP
Carlos told journalists that Marcos and his 18 coaccused were automatically placed on leave of absence when they were charged with murder and detained on orders of the court.
That, he explained, is the standard operating procedure in cases of policemen being charged with nonbailable offenses.
“[But] when the case was downgraded to homicide, (which) allowed them to post bail, the leaves of absence of these PNP personnel (were) lifted,” he said.
“Thus, with the lifting of the leaves of absence they were placed on (active) duty status,” the PNP spokesperson pointed out.
Carlos said the leaves of absence were lifted on July 11, a day before President Duterte’s speech at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology’s anniversary celebration.
During that speech, Mr. Duterte expressed his wish that Marcos and other policemen involved in the November 2016 raid at the subprovincial jail in Baybay City be returned to active duty.
Consequently, Marcos was assigned officer in charge of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group regional office in Central Mindanao, Carlos said.
“We respect that. That’s their right,” he said, reiterating that Marcos and his men have not been found guilty of any crime.
The spokesperson said the policemen cannot even be deemed suspended because they appealed an earlier ruling by the PNP-IAS.
Not yet off the hook
But that does not mean the 19 policemen have been cleared of the charges, Carlos stressed.
PNP officials said Marcos and his men would still have to answer for the deaths of Espinosa and Yap until they are acquitted by the court.
For instance, Marcos is a member of Philippine National Police Class of 1996 and, at age 44, still has more than a decade before mandatory retirement.
The PNP chief, Carlos said, is just being careful with the established procedure because that can also be used in the future.
“At the end of the day, we do not want that, once the PNP chief’s term ends, his decision will be reversed on a technicality,” Carlos said.
“I just hope they understand that this is the established procedure. We did not go beyond the established procedure. It just so happened that it was favorable to the accused policemen,” he said.
Meanwhile, Malacañang defended President Duterte’s order to reactivate Marcos and his men.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the administration will cooperate with any Senate investigation into the reactivation of Marcos and his men.
“The government will cooperate. I mean the government through the PNP will cooperate with any investigation. We have always participated in any hearing and we will continue to abide by that,” he said.
Abella clarified that Marcos’ return should not be considered a “reinstatement” since he was only suspended.
“It’s not a reinstatement. He was never dismissed. He was simply suspended,” he said.
“And he’s eligible back to duty. In other words, he’s abiding by the rule of law,” he added.
When asked if Marcos’ return to active service would demoralize honest policemen, Abella said: “As far as we know, the morale of the Armed Forces is pretty high.”
“The President has the well-being of the nation in his heart and he will continue to do so,” Abella said.
He also downplayed the claim of Sen. Richard Gordon that the President was wrong in defending Marcos and that Mr. Duterte was getting bad advice from his advisers.
You only think he’s wrong
“That’s assuming too much, presuming too much of the President. The President is a listener. However, he is really his own. He also makes his own moves,” Abella said.
“It may be unorthodox, it may be out of the box. But definitely he listens. And whatever the good senator has said, it’s really his opinion,” he added.
Besides Marcos, those reactivated are Supt. Santi Noel Matira, Chief Insp. Leo Larraga, Senior Insp. Fritz Blanco, Senior Insp. Deogracias Diaz, Insp. Lucredito Candilosas, SPO4 Melvin Cayubit, PO3 Johnny Ibañez, SPO4 Juanito Duarte, PO1 Lloyd Ortigueza, PO1 Bhernard Orpilla, SPO2 Benjamin Dacallos, PO3 Norman Abellanosa, PO1 Jerlans Cabiyaan, PO1 Clixto Canillas Jr, SPO1 Mark Christian Cadilo, PO2 John Ruel Doculan, SPO2 Antonio Docil and PO2 Jaime Dacsal.
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