Aguirre stands firm on downgraded raps vs CIDG men in Espinosa slay

MANILA� Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II stood pat on the resolution on the downgrading of charges against members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Regional 8 led by Supt. Marvin Marcos and 18 other cops who were involved in the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and fellow inmate Raul Yap inside a sub-provincial jail last November that allowed them to be temporarily released from detention.

I already told that many weeks ago. I will stand by the resolution of the DoJ kasi yun namang proceedings before the Senate proceeding in aid of legislation and iba dito sa ginagawa natin sa DoJ, Aguirre told reporters recently sought for a comment in a Senate hearing last Wednesday.

When asked on the DOJ prosecution panel who downgraded the raps from from murder to homicide, Aguirre answered that's the procedure meron diyan nireverse, merong inaaffirm, but that's the procedure in the Department of Justice kaya hindi yan yung sinasabi nating flip flopping it's just procedure.

Katulad nyang there could be conspiracy, because there conspiracy, there is premeditation. Premeditation is different from conspiracy and even assuming that there is conspiracy, Ang premeditation will not qualify the crime homicide to murder unless the premeditation is evident. Evident premeditation is just not premeditation. The premeditation has to be evident. Kaya yan din yung findings ni DoJ Usec. Reynante Orceo., he explained.

Homicide is a bailable offense. A case for homicide if there is no qualifying circumstances of murder or there is not enough evidence to prove the qualifying circumstance as in this case �treachery and evident premeditation.

During the Senate panel hearing on the reassignment of Marcos and others on Wednesday, Orceo said DoJ and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) relied on the same evidence that showed that Marcos and 18 other cops were involved in the killing of Espinosa Sr. but had different "appreciations".

So the same set of evidence, the same facts, the same set of witnesses iba yung appreciation mo sa ng Senate, sa appreciation ng NBI, sa appreciation ng panel of prosecutors? (So the same set of evidence, the same facts, same set of witnesses but your appreciation is different from the appreciation of the Senate, NBI and the panel of prosecutors?) Senator Panfilo Lacson asked Orceo.

Lacson is chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, which in charge of investigating the reassignment of Marcos.

Orceo replied in the affirmative noting that there was a lack of evident premeditation.

Senators, however, found it hard to believe Orceo when he said that he signed the resolution downgrading Marcos' charges without the knowledge of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.

It is not credible that you tell us that you did on your own the downgrading of murder given the fact that your Secretary expressed a different opinion, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon told Orceo.

Orceo said that when he signed the resolution, he signed it under the presumption that he was doing it in Aguirre's behalf -- that Aguirre knew what he was doing.

Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) General Alfegar Triambulo backed Orceo by saying that since Marcos was not directly involved in the case and was only guilty of neglect of duty.

PNP Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa, for his part, said downgrading Marcos' charges was dependent on the recommendation of its Internal Affairs Service (IAS).

My decision is dependent on the recommendation of IAS. Since I saw that investigation was done properly, Dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa also clarified that Marcos was not reinstated but reassigned to Criminal and Investigation Detention Group (CIDG) Region 12. Marcos previously worked for CIDG Region 8.

Source: Philippine News Agency