21 cops placed under restrictive custody after Espinosa shooting
Twenty-one policemen were placed under restrictive custody and undergoing investigation for the deaths of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.and an inmate at the Baybay City sub-provincial jail were killed during an alleged shootout last Saturday.
Deputy Director General Francisco Uyami, officer-in-charge of the Philippine National Police, said 13 policemen were from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Region 8 while the eight belong to the Regional Maritime Unit.
The RMU operatives provided perimeter security outside the detention facility while CIDG personnel went inside.
Espinosa and Yap were gunned down after they allegedly fought back against police who were serving a search warrant to them for possession of firearms and illegal drugs.
An initial report said a caliber .45 pistol were found in Yap 's possession while a caliber .38 Special firearm were retrieved from Espinosa. Several sachets of shabu and marijuana were allegedly found in their possession.
"The PNP assures the public that necessary sanctions will be charged on any personnel violation of police standard operating procedures during the serving of search warrants," Uyami, the PNP deputy chief for administration, said in a news briefing.
A police official expressed doubt Espinosa smuggled prohibited items in his jail cell just weeks after he executed an affidavit naming public officials who received money from the drug trade.
"We know he is incapable having a firearm inside. We can say he can't form an organization there since he was just alone inside his cell," Albuera police head Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido said in an interview over dzMM radio.
An initial result of the autopsy revealed Espinosa was shot at least four times. There were four points of entry, two on the chest and two on the abdomen.
There is one lacerated wound on the head, most probably a grazed wound.
Yap had five entry points, four shots at the back and one at the right chest. One of the entry wounds at the back had a upward trajectory which reached the head.
Uyami refused to comment on reports saying Espinosa was likely lying down when he was shot.
"Those are speculations at this point. It's better to wait for the result of the investigation.
Uyami said an investigation is being done on claims of the regional police head that what happened was a legitimate encounter. He also sees nothing wrong with the search warrant being applied at 4 am.
"There is also no law that prohibits it being implemented in a government facility. It has happened before," said Uyami.
The issue Camp Crame wants to settle are reports the CIDG in Leyte did coordinate with the regional and city police offices. "There is also a report claimed by the raiding team they gave a coordination notice at the operations center of PRO (Police Regional Office) 8," said Uyami. Emmanuel Tupas/DMS