MANILA, July 26 — A Senate panel on Wednesday began its first hearing on the ‘reassignment’ of Supt. Marvin Marcos, the controversial cop who is facing homicide charges over the death of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.
It may be recalled that the Department of Justice (DOJ) downgraded charges against Marcos and 18 other police officials accused of killing the Leyte mayor from murder to homicide.
Both the Senate and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) investigation concluded that the killing was premeditated with grave abuse of authority.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, began his opening statement describing the downgrading of charges to homicide as “more ruthless” than the killing of Espinosa itself.
Lacson, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, pointed out that that this move elicited public outrage and disgust among lawmakers from both houses in the Congress.
The senator said that he thought that when the committee report stating that Espinosa’s killing was premeditated was adopted in the plenary, the case was already “put to rest” however, another hearing had to be called.
“…I thought we have already put to rest the Espinosa case. But due to recent turn of events, we now find ourselves here at the session hall once again,” Lacson said in his opening statement.
Lacson stressed that the Senate could not “turn a blind eye to apparent irregularities duly reported.”
He, meanwhile, expressed concern, that the current scenario could impact on the police force’s efficiency and performance to the detriment of the overall peace and order situation.
Present during the hearing were PNP Chief Director General Ronaldo Dela Rosa, Justice Undersecretary Reynante Orceo, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Dante Gierran among others.
Dela Rosa said that Marcos and other cops facing homicide were reassigned with to Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 12 and regional maritime unit in Region 8.
”After they posted bail, they’re back to full duty status. We can utilize them as normal officers,” Dela Rosa said.
NBI, in a motion for reconsideration filed before the DOJ, maintained that the killing of Espinosa was premeditated.
The hearing is ongoing.