Wednesday, November 16, 2005  

Ex-CIDG chief belies...... claim of former cop on... Paco case

      The former regional officer of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 7 denied the statements of retired policeman Perfecto “Roy” Codiñera that Juan Francisco “Paco” Larrañaga and brothers James Anthony and James Andrew Uy were only implicated in the Chiong case.

      Senior Supt. Napoleon Estilles, now chief of staff of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 1 based in La Union Province, told Sun.Star Cebu in a telephone interview that main witness Davidson “Tisoy Tagalog” Rusia was in Codiñera’s custody for more than a week before he was turned over to them.

      It was Rusia’s testimony that led the late RTC Judge Martin Ocampo to declare, in May 1999, all seven accused guilty of kidnapping, raping and killing sisters Jacqueline and Marijoy Chiong.

      “They (then Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Division) were the ones who took Tisoy’s statements. They were the ones who arrested him. How come he is saying that?” Estilles said in Filipino.

      Codiñera told radio dyLA last Monday that he was going to testify that Larrañaga and the Uy brothers were not originally named as suspects. He also said he was the one who prepared Rusia’s affidavit.

      He was surprised that the three were suddenly included after the CIDG 7 took over the case.

      Estilles said Codiñera’s revelations were moot because the Supreme Court decision on the appeal was final.

     
Estilles was relieved from the CIDG 7 last September 1998 and was replaced by then Supt. Leonardo Espina.

     For his part, Supt. Pablo Labra, Codiñera’s direct superior at the time, said that before Rusia could make an extra judicial confession, there was a lawyer present. 

      However, Labra, head of the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Bureau (CIIB), could no longer recall who the lawyer was.

      Labra said he did not want to comment on Codiñera’s claims, but stressed that the work they did in the Chiong case was an “honest and proper investigation.”

             
             ' TISOY TAGALOG' RUSIA. He was in Roy
             Codiñera's custody before he was turned
              over to CIDG.                              
(SUN.STAR FILE)

      He said Codiñera was the case investigator in the field and regularly reported to him any developments.

      “I don’t want to say anything against him because I respect him. Roy was a good investigator when he was still active. I learned a lot from him in the field of investigation,” Labra told reporters.

      Visayas Deputy Ombudsman Primo Miro warned Codiñera of possible legal liability for his statement.

      “Why is it only now he made a turnaround. It’s for him to lookout for disturbing the finality of the decision of the Supreme Court,” Miro said, in an interview over GMA Balitang Bisdak.

      In a separate interview, the Uys’ parents are planning to file for a new trial and are considering meeting the retired policeman.

      All seven men convicted in the Chiong case are at the National Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City.

      Labra was still a lieutenant when he first assumed a post at the Cebu City Police Office and that Codiñera was already one of the chief detectives of the unit.

      He said, though, that in their investigations, the Uy brothers and Larrañaga were part of the group who grabbed the Chiong sisters last July 16, 1997 while they waited for a ride home outside the Ayala Center Cebu.

      The Supreme Court en banc affirmed last July their earlier ruling of imposing the death penalty on Larrañaga, Josman Aznar, Rowen Adlawan, Alberto Caño and Ariel Balansag.

      The ruling on James Anthony was deferred pending the verification of his age. His younger brother, James Andrew, was meted a life imprisonment as he was still a minor at the time the crime was committed. (MEA/JST)


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