WHILE a local human rights advocate criticizes the reinstatement of Supt. Marvin Marcos, a congressman who is a former police official fears that the reinstatement will set a bad precedent in the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Lawyer Democrito Barcenas, a human rights advocate in Cebu, when sought for a reaction yesterday on the reinstatement of Marcos, who faces a homicide case for the death of a Leyte mayor jailed over drug charges, said that it showed the hypocrisy of the Duterte administration in solving criminality.
“Duterte does not respect the Senate probe and the NBI findings that Supt. Marcos and his group committed murder in the death of Mayor Espinosa,” said Barcenas.
Barcenas was also referring to Duterte’s statement on Wednesday about reinstating Marcos.
On Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte said: “The suspension has ended; I said, take him back to his job. He wasn’t even there (in the crime scene).”
PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa then reinstated Supt. Marcos, who now heads the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of Socsargen.
Dela Rosa cited Duterte’s wishes in reinstating Marcos.
But for Rep. Romeo Acop (2nd district of Antipolo City), a former police chief superintendent, the reinstatement will set a bad precedent in the police organization.
Acop — chairman of the House’s public order and safety committee — has expressed alarm that the Duterte government’s bloody anti-narcotics campaign is creating a “bigger monster” out of the PNP.
“In the process of trying to kill a monster, that is illegal drugs, we might be creating a bigger monster with the process that we’ve been doing. That’s what I fear,” Acop said in a radio interview on Sunday.
Dela Rosa’s move to allow Marcos, the erstwhile Region 8 director of the CIDG, to return to the police service may prompt other police officers facing criminal charges to seek their reinstatement too.
Move to regret
Acop said this move has established a “precedent we might regret later on.”
“There will be policemen similarly situated with cases, so they will need to be reinstated too because they will claim … why would we with lesser offenses not be allowed to return to work?” he said.
Acop added Marcos has been “somewhat an exception” to the rules on erring PNP members that have prevailed until now.
He said Dela Rosa’s move only worsened the perception of the PNP, which has been accused of abuses and overkill in carrying out its so-called war on drugs.
“You see, you always hear … there had been allegations that they’re responsible for summary killings. This may or may not be true. But, assuming that is true, it will be very hard to get the Philippine National Police back in line,” he said.
Marcos and his men have been indicted before the Baybay City Regional Trial Court for the November killing of Albuera, Leyte, Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. at Baybay City Sub-Provincial Jail during the wee hours of Nov. 5.
Although initially indicted for the non-bailable offense of murder, the Department of Justice (DOJ) on May 29 ordered the charges downgraded to the bailable offense of homicide.
The DOJ’s move paved the way for Marcos’ freedom in June.