Kerwin Espinosa paid police general millions for protection
Kerwin Espinosa, Eastern Visayas’ alleged biggest drug lord, claimed that a police general, through a middleman, formerly assigned in the said region asked him to send millions of pesos in exchange for protection.
Kerwin said he issued checks worth at least P3 million to Chief Supt. Asher Dolina, former Eastern Visayas police regional director, through his middleman Victor Espina, brother-in-law of former Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge, retired Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, in 2015.
The ex-OIC, however, has vehemently denied his alleged involvement with Espinosa, saying his brother-in-law only used his name to transact with the suspected drug lord.
Speaking before the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs on Wednesday, Kerwin said Victor, sometime in 2015, met him and told him Dolina was asking for P500,000 monthly “SOP” or protection money.
Kerwin asked Victor to lower Dolina’s price to P300,000 because he there were many officials and personalities in Kerwin’s payroll.
“Ang plano pala ni RD (Regional Director), humingi sa akin ng SOP or monthly protection money na halagang P500,000 kada buwan. Pero sinabi ko kay Victor hindi ko ito kaya kasi marami na sila, tumawad ako ng 300k a month,” he said.
(The RD planned to ask me protection money of P500,000 monthly. But I told Victor I cannot afford it because there were many of them in my payroll, so I asked him to bring down his asking price to P300,000 a month.)
“Pagtawad ko ng P300,000 nagkasundo kami sa monthly ko. Kinabukasan noong paguusap namin ni Victor, pumunta siya sa bahay namin mga 8 ng umaga at pinakausap niya sakin sa phone si RD through sa phone ni Espina,” he added.
(We agreed to bring it down to P300,000 monthly. The following morning, Victor went to my house at around 8, and he made me talk to RD.)
Kerwin’s first payment was worth P3 million. He said he deposited the money to the bank account of Victor’s female companion.
After a week, Kerwin deposited another P2 million as an advance for Dolina’s monthly fee.
He said Dolina asked for an advance payment to buy a SUV.
“Ang rason kasi daw kulang pera ang niya na pambili na Land Cruiser (His reason was he did not have enough money to buy a Land Cruiser),” Kerwin said.
He also paid Victor P1,250,000 and his brother Martin as agent’s fee.
Kerwin said he has bank statements to prove the deposits.
Dolina is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Matikas” Class of 1983. He is set to retire on September 22, 2017.
In 2009, Dolina was dismissed after the Ombudsman held them liable for grave misconduct and dishonesty over the P4.54-million questionable procurement of rubber boats. But in June this year, the Court of Appeals reversed the Ombudsman’s decision, reinstating Dolina and 18 other officials. IDL