Mayor Espinosa, son not among those arrested in drug bust but…
Former Albuera chief of police Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido admitted on Friday that both Albuera’s late Mayor Rolando Espinosa and his son Kerwin were not among those arrested or seen at a drug buy-bust operation conducted in Albuera, Leyte last July 28, 2016.
However, the prosecutors said those who were arrested on that day pinpointed to the Espinosas as the masterminds behind the illegal drug trade in the area.
Espenido appeared for the first time before the Manila regional trial court (RTC) to testify on the case against self-confessed drug distributor Kerwin, son of the late mayor. The young Espinosa is facing a case for drug trading and illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
During his testimony, Espenido said five people were arrested during the buy-bust operation conducted at a basketball court in front of the house of Kerwin.
When asked about the relevance of the testimony to the case of the young Espinosa, the prosecutor said two of the five people arrested identified the mayor and his son as those having a hand in the drug operations in the area.
During the July 28, 2016, raid conducted at Sitio Tinago, Barangay Binolho in Albuera, Leyte, authorities confiscated over 200 grams of shabu and assorted firearms. Authorities also arrested Marcelo Adorco, Jose Antepuesto, Jessie Ocarez, Ernesto Dumalat and Jeffrey Pesquera.
“When you conducted the buy bust on July 28, 2016, would you agree that the mayor was nowhere in sight and Kerwin,” the defense lawyer asked to which Espenido said yes.
When asked about Espenido’s testimony, Kerwin denied owning the confiscated drugs.
“Hindi akin yon (those were not mine). Wala nga ako dito nung nangyari yun (I was not even here in the country when that happened, referring to the raid of the police),” Espinosa told reporters
The charges were originally heard by Branch 14 of the Baybay, Leyte RTC but the Supreme Court has ordered its transfer to Metro Manila based on the request of the prosecution and defense camps citing security reasons for their plea.
The elder Espinosa was killed along with another inmate in a police raid inside the Baybay sub-provincial jail in November last year. /jpv
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