Updated 14:53 PM PHT Tue, March 21, 2017
Tacloban City (CNN Philippines) — A Baybay City judge ordered Tuesday for the suspects in the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa and inmate Raul Yap to be detained in the CIDG-8 detention facility in Tacloban City because the local jail was overflowing.
The order came a day after former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Region 8 (CIDG-8) head Supt. Marvin Marcos and 18 other suspects surrendered as arrest warrants were issued against them on murder charges.
Baybay Regional Trial Court Branch 14 Judge Carlos Arguelles issued the ruling, citing a 2016 Supreme Court order disallowing judges from issuing commitment orders to crowded jails.
Baybay City Jail warden Lourdes Noveda testified that the facility now houses more than 70 inmates or thrice the maximum capacity. She also said the prison only has 14 guards and only two long firearms and two short ones.
Noveda added that the Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail in Baybay, where Espinosa was killed, only detains suspects for crimes committed in the towns of Mahaplag and Albuera.
CIDG-8 Deputy Chief Inspector Teodolo Armada said they will comply with the court order. He also said the suspects will be detained in two cells and that additional personnel will be called in to guard them.
The Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service is likewise pursuing an administrative case against the suspects.
Marcos led a CIDG-8 unit that shot dead Espinosa and Yap in an early-morning raid at the Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail on Nov. 5, 2016.
Espinosa was linked to the drug trade and surrendered to the police.
Initial reports said Espinosa died in a shootout with Marcos and his men. The raiding team reportedly went to Espinosa's cell to serve a search warrant and check the premises for illegal firearms and drugs.
However, an investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation concluded that the real purpose was to murder Espinosa.
Espinosa's son Kerwin — who confessed to being a drug lord — testified in a Senate inquiry that he was paying Marcos to protect his business.
Tacloban-based stringer Wil Mark Amazona contributed to this report.