DOJ to review NBI findings vs Marcos, CIDG 8

MANILA, Philippines – Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II set up a 5-person panel to conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if there is probable cause for the filing of criminal charges against the policemen involved in the alleged summary execution of former Albuera mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr and fellow inmate Raul Yap inside the sub-provincial jail in Baybay City on November 5.

Aguirre, through Department Order no. 890, designated Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Lilian Doris P. Alejo to head the panel. Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia L. Torrevillas, Assistant State Prosecutor Jinky P. Dedumo, Assistant State Prosecutor Karla T. Cabel and Prosecuting Attorney Moises Y. Acayan will serve as members of the panel. 

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier defended the policemen involved in the death of Espinosa. 

Duterte even said he would not let those policemen to go to prison.

The conduct of the preliminary investigation was ordered by Aguirre after a complaint was filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against 24 members of the Philippine National Police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) Regional Office no. 8.

The order said, "In the interest of public service, pursuant to the provisions of existing laws and pursuant to the result of the investigation conducted by the NBI Eastern Visayas Regional Office, recommending the prosecution thereof, a panel of prosecutor is hereby constituted to conduct the preliminary investigation of the case."

Aguirre added, "If evidence warrants, [the panel is ordered] to file the appropriate information in the court of competent jurisdiction and to prosecute the same."

The respondents named in the complaint were

They were all assigned to the CIDG Regional Office No. 08, at the Port Area in Tacloban City.

Also among the list of respondents were:

The following were assigned at the Regional Maritime Unit 8 at the Port Area in Tacloban City

The NBI filed complaints for murder, robbery, malicious procurement of search warrant, perjury, and planting of evidence before the DOJ last December 2 against Marcos and the other members of the raiding team.

The NBI also recommended that perjury charges be filed against PCINSP Leo Diao Laraga, PO3 Norman T. Abellanosa, and Paul Olendan for maliciously obtaining a search warrant.

Citing testimonial and forensic evidence, the NBI earlier said Espinosa, who was earlier accused by Duterte of involvement in the country's illegal drugs trade, was the victim of a rub-out and not a shootout as claimed by the respondents. The police team which held the raid insists Espinosa shot at them first, prompting them to fire back. –