Dela Rosa: Downgrade of raps vs cops in Espinosa slay shows working justice system

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 30 2017 07:34 PM | Updated as of Jun 30 2017 09:20 PM

Supt. Marvin Marcos, head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Region 8, is seen here attending a Senate hearing on the slay of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. He and 18 other accused recently made bail after the DOJ downgraded to homicide murder charges filed against them. File Photo

MANILA- The downgrade of charges against police officers tagged in the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. shows a working judicial system.

This according to Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, who said he is "okay" with the Department of Justice's (DOJ) revised decision.

"That’s okay with me. That goes to show that the judicial system is working," he said in an interview on ANC Friday.

The DOJ, in a review resolution on May 29, dismissed two counts of murder against members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Region 8 (CIDG-8) led by Supt. Marcos, indicting them instead for homicide, a lesser and bailable offense.

The downgrade allowed the accused officers to post bail

"From the side of the accused, they were given the opportunity to post bail so that’s normal in the legal process, in the procedures, they can be afforded bail," Dela Rosa said.

The PNP chief, however, refused to comment on whether he thinks the DOJ's resolution was right.

Minority senators on Tuesday filed a resolution seeking an inquiry on the DOJ's review resolution, arguing that there was no new evidence or compelling reason for the DOJ to reverse its previous finding of murder against the officers.

The new DOJ resolution had scrapped an earlier finding that the killing of Espinosa, a drug suspect, and his fellow inmate Raul Yap in a predawn CIDG-8 operation at their detention cell on Nov. 5 was premeditated. 

A senate inquiry in December had found that Espinosa's killing was planned. 

Senate Resolution No. 417 filed by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Francis Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros, Leila de Lima, Bam Aquino, and Antonio Trillanes IV sought the investigation as it expressed "grave concern" over recent developments in the case.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II scoffed at the Senate review, citing separation of powers between the legislature and the executive, of which the DOJ is part.