Cops in Espinosa slay ordered arrested: PNP chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 20 2017 11:05 AM | Updated as of Mar 20 2017 04:43 PM

CIDG Region 8 chief Supt. Marvin Marcos turns emotional at the Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - A court has ordered the arrest of Supt. Marvin Marcos and 19 other police officers tagged in the murder of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., the head of the Philippine National Police announced Monday.

"Lumabas na ang kanilang warrant of arrest for murder. Na-serve na ngayon doon sa CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) ng Region 8," PNP chief, Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa told reporters.

All 20 suspects were accounted for, Dela Rosa said, without giving additional details. Authorities are awaiting court orders on where to detain the policemen.

Findings of the Department of Justice (DOJ) show there was conspiracy among the charged policemen.

Meantime, the charges against respondents Cristal Jane Briones Gisma, Divine Grace Baclas, and PO2 Niel Centino, were dismissed. 

The policewomen were not present during the police operation, while Centino's status was absent without official leave (AWOL) at the time of the incident.

Supt. Marcos and his men allegedly shot dead Espinosa and another inmate, Raul Yap, during a predawn search on their detention cells. 

Two Senate panels and the National Bureau of Investigation said in separate reports that Espinosa's killing was "premeditated" by the police to cover up their involvement in the illegal drug activities of the mayor. 

The slain mayor's son, self-proclaimed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, testified during a Senate inquiry that Marcos was on his payroll -- an allegation that the officer tearfully denied.  

-with a report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News