DOJ on downgraded raps vs Supt. Marcos: Same evidence, different ‘appreciation’

MANILA-- The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) relied on the same evidence that showed that Supt. Marvin Marcos and 18 other cops were involved in the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. but had different "appreciations".

This was the statement made by Justice Undersecretary Reynante Orceo during the Senate panel hearing on the reassignment of Marcos and others on Wednesday.

The DOJ downgraded charges against Marcos and 18 other cops accused of killing the Leyte mayor from murder to homicide. However, the NBI was firm on its stand that it was a murder because it was premeditated.

In its committee report, the Senate also concluded that the killing of Mayor Espinosa was premeditated.

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.

It may be recalled that during the Senate hearing on the killing of Mayor Espinosa in November 2016, Aguirre agreed that the killing was indeed premeditated.

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: Philippines News Agency