Espinosa says his father wasn’t involved in drugs | Inquirer News

Espinosa says his father wasn’t involved in drugs

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 01:54 AM November 24, 2016

Confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa yesterday cleared the name of his slain father and owned up to running a multimillion-peso drug racket in the Visayas.

Facing the Senate inquiry into the suspicious Nov. 5 killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., the younger Espinosa said his father’s supposed signatures on an affidavit he had executed before his death were all forged.

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“My papa has nothing to do with drugs. I am the only one involved in the illegal drug trade,” he said.

Suspected of running the illicit trade, Espinosa’s father had surrendered to authorities and died a drug suspect at a subprovincial jail in Baybay City in a predawn police operation on Nov. 5. Several senators believe the mayor was murdered.

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The younger Espinosa was recently flown back to the Philippines following his arrest, after hiding for more than four months in Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.

He said he left the country on June 21 after President Duterte won the election and the killing of drug pushers and users began.

“My papa was really innocent. I’m the one who knew everything. I admit to all the wrongdoing in illegal drugs. And my papa knew about it, but he cannot control me because I am at the right age,” Espinosa told reporters.

He said his father knew nothing about his drug business, saying his affidavit was fake. In one of two affidavits that he had supposedly executed, the slain mayor named more than 200 alleged drug protectors and recipients of drug money, including Sen. Leila de Lima.

The younger Espinosa also said De Lima and several police officers were his paid protectors in his own affidavit, saying his account was the right one.

“This is not my father’s signature,” Espinosa said of the signature on the alleged affidavit of his father. “He is not in a position to say who are involved in my drug trade and transactions in “shabu” or any kind [of drugs].”

Later in the Senate hearing, the late mayor’s lawyer, Lanie Villarino, told senators that two separate affidavits the elder Espinosa had executed while in police custody—the first on Aug. 24 and the second on Oct. 3—bore forged signatures.

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“I can say that those were not the signatures of my client,” Villarino said in response to Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon, who noted the stark difference between Mayor Espinosa’s signatures on the two documents.

Ready-made affidavit

She reiterated the earlier statements of Espinosa’s brother, Ramon, who had said in media interviews that the mayor was given a ready-made affidavit.

The lawyer said Mayor Espinosa was not assisted by counsel when he executed the supposed document.

Police, however, claimed that Mayor Espinosa was provided the assistance of a lawyer from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), information later denied by a PAO representative at the hearing.

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TAGS: Anti-Illegal Drugs and Special Operations Task Force (AIDSOTF), Kerwin Espinosa, Rolando Espinosa Sr., war on drugs
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