Senator wants probe on killing of Albuera mayor

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon on Sunday said that he is set to file a resolution calling for a Senate probe into the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa reportedly killed in a shootout inside the Baybay City Provincial Jail Saturday morning.

Gordon, chair of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, said he will file the resolution after he submits the committee report on the investigation on recent and unresolved killings linked to the intensified anti-illegal drug campaign of the current administration when the Senate sessions resume on Monday.

He said that he will also coordinate with fellow Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson who earlier expressed interest to revive investigation into the alleged extrajudicial killings following Mayor Espinosa’s killing.

The senator, however, said that the panel will have to conduct a separate investigation on Espinoa’s case because the previous investigation has been wrapped up and the committee report is ready for submission.

He has earlier expressed alarm over Espinosa’s killing, noting that this meant that “those who are in the custody of the law are no longer safe.”

“How can we encourage suspects to surrender under the law in this situation? It’s a slap on the face of the rule of law and it signals a more desperate system – a ‘take no prisoners’ approach. This creates an atmosphere of intimidation and fear and puts everybody in danger,” Gordon said.

Gordon meanwhile called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to investigate the incident and prevent all killings, especially of those already arrested and detained.

Reports said operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 8 killed Espinosa and drug suspect Raul Yap while serving search warrants at the provincial jail. They allegedly fired guns at the police.

Espinosa surrendered to the PNP last August after his name was included in a list of government officials allegedly involved in illegal drugs. Azer Parrocha/