Gordon: Espinosa shooting was a 'deliberate operation'

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Sen. Richard Gordon is the chairman of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Sen. Richard "Dick" Gordon believes the deaths of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Roland Espinosa and inmate Raul Yap are cases of extrajudicial killings, saying the incident was a "deliberate operation" meant to kill Espinosa.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Gordon expressed concern about the nature of the operations of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

"They come in at 4:00 in the morning, when the night was darkest in a supposedly secure area, they practically tell the guards not to intervene from the autopsy reports, the shots were all downwards all through the stomach and through the chest which means these are marks of somebody who is begging for his life," Gordon explained. 

Related: Albuera Mayor Espinosa, inmate killed in jail cell shootout — CIDG

Gordon, who is also the chairman of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, added there are still more questions to be answered by the police.

"I don't know why they (police) would come in at night, these (Espinosa and Yap) are already jailed, what are they talking about, what are they going there for? Are you telling me the jail system guards do not check the firearms or for that matter how do they have firearms? isn't there departmental courtesy?" he said.

"If people surrender to the authorities, sometimes it is considered a mitigating circumstance and when somebody surrenders, he puts himself at the mercy of these people." 

Gordon expressed dismay on the policemen who conducted the operations inside Espinosa's cell.

"I already smell a cover up. The way the operation was conducted really cows our sensibility. These people should not be policemen. At the very least, they are incompetent policemen who would bring guns, go into a jail, and tell everybody to go out. They're not doing their job," he said.

Gordon is also unsatisfied about the way some departments handle cases of extrajudicial killings involving policemen.

"While there is no system that we have detected, we know that there is practically a tolerance on the part of certain departments... This reflects very badly on us - tolerance is punishable by the way - in the meantime this reflects on the fact that the policemen have never done anything about strange killings like this," he said.

"They (police) get away with it... thousands have been killed but they just shrug their shoulders and say 'We cannot do anything about it.'"

CIDG, BJMP must attend probe

The lawmaker wants operatives from the CIDG and authorities from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penelogy (BJMP) to attend the proposed Senate investigation on the deaths of Espinosa and Yap

In a press release on Sunday, Gordon said he will file the resolution after the submission of the committee report on alleged extrajudicial killings.

"I will talk to Sen. (Panfilo) Lacson, who has expressed intention to seek the resumption of our investigation into the alleged extrajudicial killings following the killing of Mayor Espinosa. We will have to conduct a separate investigation on this case because we have wrapped up the previous investigation and the committee report is ready for submission," Gordon said in a press release.

Gordon also slammed the country's judicial system, calling it "desperate".

"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," he said.

Related: Lawmakers: Espinosa's death smells of extrajudicial killing, reeks of irregularities