“Ayaw gyud ko ninyo plantere, sir, wa ko armas nga gitago (Do not plant evidence sir, I’m not concealing any firearms).”
This is the exact words of the late Mayor Rolando Espinosa, begging for the CIDG operatives not to plant evidence against him according to Leyte provincial jail warden Homobono Bardillon.
Moments later, shots rang out inside the prison cell, leaving Mayor Espinosa, including another prisoner named Raul Yap dead.
According to the Philippine Star article, four CIDG operatives stood by while Mayor Espinosa begged for his life.
Jail warden Homobono Bardillon said 4 policemen acted as observer when the CIDG operatives entered Mayor Espinosa’s prison cell but quickly denied they had colluded with the CIDG operatives.
“They could do nothing but simply observe. Otherwise, malaking gulo.”
Jail warden Bardillon refused to identify the 4 police operatives who accompanied the CIDG operatives inside the slain mayor’s cell when asked.
Meanwhile, the CIDG operatives maintain their innocence and claimed Mayor Espinosa had tried to shoot it out with their operative who were serving a search warrant for drugs and guns.
Laraga claimed self-defense when Mayor Espinosa and Raul Yap fired their guns at the operatives.
CIDG regional director Chief Superintendent Marvin Marcos defended his men, claiming self-defense as well.
Marcos said they are ready to face a probe.
“Yes, we are willing to submit to any probe and cooperate,” “This is also an avenue for us, especially… the CIDG operatives who served the search warrant to clear their names and the CIDG of course. Speculations will not help in the investigation; let’s await the results of whatever investigation may come.”
This is the assurance of Marcos when told of an impending investigation to ferret the truth out in regard to the controversy surrounding the CIDG operation.
The CCTV footage of the armed encounter with Espinosa and Yap as claimed by the CIDG operatives is missing.
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Source: Philippine Star