President Duterte believed the version of the Operatives behind the killing of Roland Espinosa, the Albuera Leyte Mayor whom he identified earlier as a narco-politician.
The Senate investigation found holes in the Operative’s presentation of the case.
For example, why was it necessary to secure a search warrant when the subject is already in police custody? Was it an attempt to cover the raid to have a semblance of legitimacy?
Skipped from the timeline that the Operatives presented was the time when the SOCO was called by the Operatives. On scrutiny, the Senate established that the SOCO were called even before the killing started. Sen. Panfilo Lacson mocked the panel of the Operatives, “Did you already anticipated that someone would get killed?
Based on the PNP Officials and the Operative’s testimonies, inconsistencies were aplenty. And there were also flagrant violations of Police Procedures.
Some members of the Senate described the exercise as “Premeditated Extra Judicial Killing (EJK).
Meanwhile, the Chief of PNP, “Bato” dela Rosa, relieved the 24 CIDG and the Regional Maritime Unit (RMU) police. The Internal Affairs Service will conduct the investigation on them.
The Senate investigation can only go as far – in aid of legislation. Their interpretation: “Premeditated (EJK)”, as what came out of their investigation can only be used be as materials if prosecution prosper.
The Internal Affairs Service, say, just in case they found the Operatives guilty, of course, they can’t go to jail. Because in effect, it is as if it is Duterte they found guilty. The question is: Could they put Duterte in jail?
Duterte has always been saying to his police since day one of his presidency: “Do what I mandated you to do. If on doing your duties you will be in jail, I volunteer myself to take your place.”
Now, could this explain why the demeanor of Chief Inspector Leo Laraga, who admitted killing Espinosa to be so cool, composed, and unperturbed, because he has President Duterte on his back?
Maybe politicians eyed lots of promise on Chief Inspector Leo Laraga. He could be the type of officer needed for their ambition.
Could anyone, also, jail Duterte because of the death of Mayor Rolando Espinosa, the narco-politician?
The story will not end here. Wait till Kerwin Espinosa, the drug lord son of Rolando Espinosa to be repatriated from Abu Dhabi to come home. He had asked to be under witness protection, as he is going to spill the beans of big names in the illegal drug industry in the Philippines.
This can become a thriller: a battle between the motivated army of the police forces inspired by Duterte, as against their clandestine, tainted counterpart in their ranks backed by narco-politicians.
If this battle escalates to a gigantic proportion where Duterte’s hands are tied up, being boxed, and pressed for time to finish off the drug menace under his term, he might incline to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. He declared the State of Lawlessness in Mindanao last September, and not much fuss about it. He could do the same with “writ of habeas corpus” as testing the water.