More senators unhappy over downgrade of raps vs suspects
More senators have expressed their disappointment with the Department of Justice (DOJ) for downgrading the murder charge against policemen involved in the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.
“I’m very disappointed,” Senator Richard Gordon said in an ambush interview on Tuesday. “There should be no bail for (Supt. Marvin Marcos and his men) because what they did was a cold-blooded murder,” he said.
Gordon also urged President Duterte and the DOJ to respect the rule of law, as he stressed that the government cannot give the police “free pass” to arbitrarily kill people, even those involved in illegal drugs.
“Dapat hayaan niya ang rule of law. Hayaan niya na umandar ang batas. He’s a lawyer he knows that. Nagtataka lang ako why they are so eager na ibaba yung krimen? To me, that’s a clear violation,” he said.
Gordon said the DOJ acted in grave abuse of discretion when it reduced the case of Supt. Marvin Marcos and the rest of the members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Eastern Visayas from murder to homicide.
Earlier, Senator Risa Hontiveros said the Senate minority bloc is filing a resolution expressing “grave concern of the Senate” over the DOJ’s decision.
This drew support from Senator Grace Poe and Senator Panfilo Lacson.
Lacson, a former police chief, said he would co-author the minority’s resolution.
“I will always stand by our committee’s recommendation as unanimously adopted by the senate. I will do so, not based on politics, friendship or anything related to it but solely on truth and justice,” he said in a text message.
Poe, for her part, said she will support the resolution if it would affirm the findings of the Senate committee on public order. The committee chaired by Lacson earlier concluded that the murder of Espinosa and his fellow inmate Raul Yap inside their cells in Baybay, Leyte was premeditated.
“I will have to review it, but if it is to affirm the initial findings of the committee on public order and its recommendations by the chair, I will most likely support it,” Poe told reporters.
“I strongly disagree with the decision of the DOJ to downgrade the charges against the involved (police officers) from murder, which the members of the Senate public order committee unanimously recommended based on convincing and factually established pieces of evidence, to a bailable crime of homicide,” she said.
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