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Key members yield, leave drug gang

01:35 AM October 02, 2016
kerwin-espinosa

Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

ALBUERA, Leyte—The drug syndicate of Kerwin Espinosa is slowly crumbling.

Two of his underlings had surrendered. Members of his group had also joined calls for Kerwin, son of Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., to surrender.

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But Kerwin remained at large. He had reportedly left for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in June just before the Duterte administration’s war on drugs was launched.

June Canin, 35, surrendered on Sept. 26, just three days after Max Miro, alleged right hand man of Kerwin gave himself up to police.

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Canin turned over a .45 cal. pistol with ammunition, 8.7 grams of “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) worth P69,600 and a weighing scale.

Canin, whose family owns rice farms and a rice and corn mill in Kananga town, Leyte, also identified the policemen who had been providing protection to Kerwin’s syndicate.

Miro had turned over three kilograms of shabu worth P24 million during his surrender.

Like Miro, Canin said he decided to surrender out of fear for his life as the Kananga police force is bent on making him its first score in the war on drugs.

Calls for Kerwin to surrender are mounting.

Kerwin’s father and other members of his syndicate—an accountant, cashier and contractor—had sought to assure Kerwin of safety after Chief Insp. Jove Espenido, Albuera town police chief, promised to keep Kerwin alive should he decide to surrender.

Espenido had said Kerwin is more useful alive than dead because he could provide key testimony on top officials who had been providing protection to his syndicate.

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Members of Kerwin’s syndicate are now staying in Espenido’s office following their surrender.

During his surrender, Canin revealed to Espenido the identities of a village official and a policeman who had been getting payoffs from Kerwin.

Espenido said charges would be filed against those named by Canin, who claimed that he started getting hooked on drugs in Cebu where he went to college.

After Cebu, Canin said he moved back to his hometown, Kananga, where he started operating as a pusher, selling drugs also in other towns.

Canin surrendered after members of the Kananga police opened fire at the drug suspect as he left his house.

Canin managed to escape and went into hiding.

Canin said his drug supply came from Kerwin but he was unable to sell it after President Duterte, who has vowed to reduce the drug menace to a lifeless pulp, assumed office on July 1.

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