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Leyte mayor’s tearful plea to son: Let’s surrender

/ 07:27 PM August 03, 2016

An emotional Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. begged his son Kerwin to surrender to the authorities after the Bureau of Immigration confirmed that the latter fled the country few days before President Duterte assumed office on June 30.

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“If you’re watching TV, I’ve been suffering so much. Let’s just surrender,” Espinosa said in Bisaya during a press briefing at Camp Crame on Wednesday.

“At least the President and (Philippine National Police chief) Ronald de la Rosa could help us. I’m hoping that if you surrender, they will help you,” he said, crying.

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Although there were no charges filed yet against the Espinosas, De la Rosa warned Kerwin that he will face death if he would evade arrest.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Espinosa answered in the affirmative when the police chief asked him if it’s okay with him if his son would be killed in case he resists arrest.

Espinosa, along with his lawyer Romeo Esmero, underwent questioning with the legal team of the PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group for almost two hours at Camp Crame.

President Duterte on Monday afternoon ordered the Albuera, Leyte, mayor and his son to surrender to the authorities within 24 hours.

Only the older Espinosa followed Duterte’s warning and surrendered to De la Rosa.

His son, who is still in hiding, left for Kuala Lumpur on board Flight 5J501 via Cebu Pacific on June 21.

De la Rosa said Kerwin has been involved in the illegal drug trade.

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He said Kerwin’s source of shabu (metamphetamine hydrochloride) was drug lord Peter Co, who has since been detained at the New Bilibid Prisons.

In the judicial affidavit of Espinosa, he admitted his son has been involved in the illegal drug activities.

But he reiterated his earlier statement that he does not know where exactly Kerwin is hiding at present.

He also denied having ties with Co.

Espinosa said: “Hindi ko siya kilala. Sa TV ko lang siya nakita. Narinig ko lang na maaring sa NBP kay Peter Co kumukuha ng droga si Kerwin.”

(I don’t know him. I only saw him on television. I only heard Peter could be getting drug supply from NBP through Peter Co.)

No contact with son

The last time he communicated with his son was May 7 when Kerwin offered to help him in his mayoralty campaign during the May elections.

“Noong May 7, 2016, nagpunta siya doon (sa Leyte) at nag-alok siya ng tulong para sa kandidatura ko pero sinabi ko sa kanya, ‘hindi ko kailangan ang tulong mo, umalis ka na dito at baka masira pa kandidatura ko,'” Espinosa said in his affidavit.

(On May 7, 2016, when he went here [Leyte] and offered help in my candidacy, I told him I don’t need his help. I told him to just leave otherwise my candidacy will suffer.)

Espinosa denied that he used drug money to finance his campaign.
As a mayor, Espinosa said his election platform included “addressing criminalities and drugs.”

He said he had been instrumental in the surrender of 300 drug suspects in Albuera but stopped when he started receiving death threats from chief of Albuera Police Chief Insp. Juvy Espinido.

Out of fear, Espinosa took a leave and brought his family to Manila.

Espinosa’s lawyer said his client is willing to undergo drug testing but he might have to consult it with the doctor because Espinosa has been taking maintenance medications. RC/TVJ

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TAGS: accused, Albuera, Drugs, Kerwin Espinosa, Leyte, Rolando Espinosa Sr.
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