OPINION: The height of impunity

Ellen T. Tordesillas

Posted at Jul 13 2017 09:46 PM

Upon orders of President Duterte, Police Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said the murderer-cops, led by Police Supt. Marvin Marcos, will be re-instated to the positions they held before they were suspended for the killing of former Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and his fellow inmate, Raul Yap, in Baybay provincial jail in Leyte on November 5 last year.

The reaction of Sen. Panfilo Lacson sent to the media by text expresses the feeling of many upon hearing the reinstatement of Marcos: “There is a phrase to describe this whole damn thing: "P… Ina.”

Lacson’s committee investigated the incident and found that the killing of Espinosa and Yap was premeditated. 

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed with the Department of Justice multiple murder and perjury cases against Marcos and 23 other policemen involved in the killing of Espinosa and Yap. It was downgraded by the DOJ to homicide last month.

The other day, speaking at the 26th anniversary of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology at the AFP Theater in Camp Aguinaldo, Duterte said, “Tapos tapos na ang suspension, sabi ko ibalik ninyo sa trabaho iyong mama na iyan, wala naman doon iyan eh. He was too far away. He was not part of the raiding team.” 

Sen. Francis Pangilinan said “It is quite disturbing considering that the NBI and the Senate findings point to murder.”
 
To those who are aghast and wonder why Duterte is so protective of Marcos may find the answer in the statement of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV: “Duterte not only set the murderers free, he now gave back their badges and guns so they could murder again with impunity. Why? Because Duterte fears that these policemen might rat out on him for what they know about his involvement in the Espinosa murder. Remember, it was divulged during the hearings that right after assuming office on June 30, Duterte had Marcos and company reassigned to CIDG8. But when Gen. Dela Rosa relieved them for being implicated by Espinosa in the illegal drug trade and, at the same time, not having the required schooling to be assigned at CIDG, it was Duterte himself who ordered Dela Rosa for their immediate reinstatement. Then just a few weeks after, Espinosa ended up getting murdered by Marcos' group.”

Sen. Grace Poe fears that “Such reinstatement may just encourage a culture of impunity among the ranks. The PNP could very well carry out its duties in protecting our people without somebody like Marcos and his cohorts.”

That’s also the concern of Rep. Gary Alejano (Magdalo Party) who said this is sending a dangerous signal to the policemen and soldiers:”Ang hakbang na ito ay nagbibigay ng maling mensahe sa ating mga kapulisan at kasundaluhan. Hindi habang buhay ay mananatili sa pwesto ang ating Presidente, at hindi habang buhay ay kaya nyang protektahan ang mga tiwaling pulis na kanyang itinalaga. But while he is still the President, let us expect that more killings will happen related to the war on drugs under his administration. “

In that speech last Wednesday that was as usual filled with profanity, Duterte said: “Mas bright ako, prosecutor ako eh, sige. I’ve been a trial lawyer for ten years. Putang ina, kabobo ko naman kung wala pa akong nalaman diyan…. Eh kung taga-gobyerno ka, nakita ko wala ka namang kasalanan, ang kasalanan mo ay sumunod lang sa akin, eh araw-araw, ang kapal niyang pardon na iyan oh. Kapag napasubo ka diyan, punta kayo doon sa akin. Just tell me the truth. Huwag mo akong … do not lie to me. Huwag mo akong bolahin. Sabihin mo, ‘Sir, ganito talaga ang nangyari.” Turuan kita, “Hindi, mali, iyan bata. Ang nangyari ito.”
 
We survived one year of this. Five more years to go.
 
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