BAYBAY CITY, Philippines, – The Regional Trial Court here has again reset – this time to June 7 – the arraignment of 19 Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) policemen led by Supt. Marvin Marcos charged with the murder of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolanda Espinosa, Sr.
Marcos and 18 other accused policemen arrived at the Baybay City Regional Trial Court before 8 a.m. on Wednesday for the scheduled arraignment, previously postponed by Branch 14 Presiding Judge Carlos Arguelles.
Also appearing before the court was the panel of prosecutors led by Provincial Prosecutor Arlene Cordovez, assigned by the Department of Justice to head the prosecution panel.
The counsel of the accused immediately filed a motion to postpone the arraignment for 60 days, invoking their pending petition for review of the case at the Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted last April 5.
Judge Carlos Arguelles granted the motion and rescheduled the arraignment to June 7. “Within that period of time and it is not resolved by the DOJ Secretary, the court can proceed with the arraignment,” said Arguelles.
Arguelles told reporters that the court had already anticipated this, including the possibility that the accused would file a motion for reconsideration if their petition for review was not approved.
This was the second time the arraignment of Supt. Marcos and the others was reset.
On March 29, counsel of the accused filed a motion to reset the arraignment for their client to be given the right to a full preliminary investigation.
Marcos and 18 other CIDG and maritime police personnel are accused of plotting the death of Mayor Rolando Espinosa and Raul Yap on November 3, 2016 inside the Leyte sub-provincial jail in Baybay City.
Marcos and his fellow accused are detained at the jail facility of CIDG regional office in Tacloban due to cell congestion at the Baybay City Jail.