MANILA (UPDATE) - The Department of Justice on Thursday found probable cause to indict Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido, the Ozamiz City police chief, for homicide charges over a raid that left 6 people dead.
Complainant Carmelita Manzano accused 3 policemen, including Espenido, of killing her husband and other family members during a raid on June 1 last year.
Two other police officers who joined the raid, SPO4 Renato Martir Jr. and PO1 Sandra Nadayag, were also indicted.
Speaking to ANC on Thursday, Espenido maintained that what they did was self-defense and that he plans to appeal his indictment.
"I have peace of mind because I already know how I can handle it," he said.
"Alam namin na organized crime group sila," he added.
(We know that they were an organized crime group.)
Meanwhile, murder and arbitrary detention charges against Espenido, Nadayag, and Chief Insp. Glyndo Pujanes were dismissed for lack of probable cause.
Espenido was the chief of police in Albuera, Leyte when the town's then mayor Rolando Espinosa, a drug suspect, was shot dead inside his detention cell in the Baybay City Provincial Jail in 2016.
When the police chief was transferred to Ozamiz in 2017, then-Mayor Reynaldo "Aldong" Parojinog and at least 14 others linked to illegal drugs were killed in a series of raids.
Espenido recently declared his intention to run for mayor of Ozamiz City in 2019.
"Maraming matuwa kung mag mayor ako. 'Yung mga drug lord matuwa kung mag mayor ako," Espenido said.
(Many people will be happy if I become mayor. The drug lords will be happy if I become mayor.)
-- reports from Ina Reformina and Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News