Kerwin Espinosa pleads not guilty to murder charge
Alleged Visayan drug lord Kerwin Espinosa pleaded not guilty before a Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) where he stands accused of murdering a barangay captain in his hometown in Albuera, Leyte province, in 2006—the latest in a sweep of arraignments this week alone for the confessed drug distributor.
Espinosa, the son of slain Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., and his alleged henchmen Max Miro and Stephen Bobares, were accused of killing Vicente Jabon outside the barangay hall of Doña Maria on May 31, 2006.
Miro was killed in an alleged shootout with police in Ormoc, Leyte, in March this year after supposedly resisting arrest during the service of an arrest warrant. Miro, who was allegedly Espinosa’s right-hand man, was also accused of killing retired police officer Alfredo Bucabuca in 2015.
Branch 40 Judge Alfredo Ampuan set the next hearing on November 30 and terminated the pre-trial stage as he eyed to finish the proceedings by April.
This is Espinosa’s second criminal case in Manila apart from the illegal drug trading and firearms possession charges being heard by Branch 26 Judge Silvino Pampilo.—KRIXIA SUBINGSUBING
Grade 10 student arrested for marijuana possession
A Grade 10 student was nabbed with 10 sachets of marijuana leaves in a secondary school in Pasig City on Thursday morning.
Eastern Police District director Chief Supt. Bernabe Balba said student John Arbie Echague, 18, of Barangay Caniogan was caught around 7:20 a.m. by security guard Vincent de los Santos, who was conducting regular bag inspection at the entrance of Rizal High School.
The police said Echague’s backpack yielded 10 sachets of marijuana leaves. De los Santos then turned over Echague to the nearest police community precinct 4, then to the drug enforcement unit. The student faces charges for section 11 of the antidrug law.
Zenaida Concepcion, head of the city’s antidrug abuse council (Cadac), said the existing Kasunduan program which caters to students with drug-related cases inside the school premises did not apply to Echague because he was no longer a minor.
Concepcion said the student would undergo drug testing to see if he was a drug user, and the Cadac would still check other possible interventions.
Under Pasig City’s Kasunduan program, students caught using, pushing or merely in possession of illegal drugs were given a second chance.—JODEE A. AGONCILLO
DPWH starts repair works on 50-year-old Pasay bridge
Over the next seven months, motorists should expect heavier traffic along Gil Puyat Avenue near Tramo as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) began on Friday works on the aging Tripa de Gallina bridge.
Melvin Navarro, the DPWH director in the National Capital Region, said only two of the bridge’s four southbound lanes would be open to traffic.
The P25-million reconstruction of the 50-year-old bridge will first cover its innermost lanes. The bridge’s southbound section is expected to be completed by April next year.
The bridge was earlier tagged as one of the capital’s weakest bridges. Once completed, it is expected it would be able to withstand earthquakes of up to magnitude 8.—JOVIC YEE
Int’l guest speakers at thoracic anesthesia forum
The Association of Thoracic Anesthesiologists of the Philippines Inc. (Astaphil) will hold the first Thoracic Anesthesia Symposium and Workshop on September 1, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., at the Luxent Hotel, Timog Avenue, Quezon City.
Guest speakers from Australia, Germany, Singapore and Taiwan are gracing the event.
Astaphil—whose proponents are doctors Theresa Alcantara, Victoria Idolor and James Monje—is composed of anesthesiologists who have special interests and skills in noncardiac thoracic anesthesia and airway management practice.
At present, Astaphil has 32 members who have completed and passed the rigorous fellowship training in thoracic anesthesiology at the Lung Center of the Philippines.
Nineteen of them were conferred the title Specialist in Thoracic Anesthesiology by the Philippine Board of Anesthesiology in 2016. Also attending are delegates from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.—POCHOLO CONCEPCION
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