Drug charges filed vs Espinosa, 25 others
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed on Wednesday drug charges against Roland “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr. and 25 others, including police officers, for their reported involvement in the illegal drug trade in Eastern Visayas from 2011 to 2016. A transmittal letter dated Dec. 9 and signed by NBI Director Dante Gierran said that Espinosa’s drug trade “flourished in Eastern Visayas region through his cohorts, private armed men and coddlers” despite his being detained in Ormoc City Jail from May 2011 to July 2013 for illegal possession of firearms and frustrated murder. The NBI recommended the filing of violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (trafficking, sale, dispensation, delivery, trading, financier and drug syndicate) against Espinosa and his cohorts. The NBI Task Force Against Illegal Drugs conducted the investigation. Espinosa is the son of former Albuera, Leyte, Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., who was killed in an alleged shootout with members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Eastern Visayas. The NBI identified the following as Espinosa’s “Illegal drug trade partners and cohorts”: Marcelo Labay Adorco (driver and bodyguard of Espinosa), Maba Limbona, Eliot Mascarinas, Brian Anthony Zaldivar, Galo Legaspi, Police Maj. Wilfredo Abordo, Police Staff Sgt. Dennis Torrefiel, Galo Stephen Evero Bobares, Jose Ortiz Antipuesto, Jose Jernie Estrera, Nickjune Rosalia Canin, Alfred Crez Arradaza Batistis, Josela Avila Dumaguit, Baysay Custodio and Viberca Hiyas Diano. Former Eastern Visayas Police Office chief Asher Dolina was also among the “coddlers” named by the NBI. Other police officers recommended for prosecution were: Capt. Eufracio Javines, Capt. Bernie Magamay, Staff Sgt. Roberto Arafol, Cpl. Marvin Parac, Col. Elizar Egloso and Chief Master Sgt. Eduardo Betuin. —Nikka G. Valenzuela
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