Sueno orders speedy probe into deaths of Espinosa, Yap

MANILA — Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno on Saturday ordered a speedy investigation on the deaths of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa and fellow inmate Raul Yap inside their detention cell in Leyte before dawn Saturday.

Sueno directed PNP Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa, to gather substantial evidence on the reported firefight between members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 8 and the two high profile inmates inside Leyte sub-provincial jail in Baybay City for linkage in the illegal drug trade.

“We want to know if CIDG Region 8 followed standard operating procedures in undertaking this operation and in serving the search warrant to Espinosa and Yap,” he said.

The DILG Secretary said that it was necessary for the police to adhere to their operations manual and respect the rights of the suspects as well, unless their lives were endangered.

“It is unfortunate that this operation led to this (death of the inmates), but of course, we also do not want our people (cops) to be the one lying dead in the course of doing their job,” he said.

According to reports, Espinosa and Yap were killed during an alleged shootout with CIDG Region 8 personnel when the two reportedly fired gun shots at the police who were trying to serve a search warrant.

The search warrant for Espinosa was in connection with illegal possession of firearms because initial reports show that the police recovered one caliber Super .38 and a magazine with live ammunition from his cell. One sachet of suspected shabu and drug paraphernalia were also recovered.

Police were also equipped with search warrant against Yap for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 for having found one sachet of suspected shabu and drug paraphernalia inside his cell.

Police also recovered a cal. .45 pistol and a magazine with live ammunition from Yap’s cell. Aira May Dizon/