CAMP RUPERTO KANGLEON, Palo,Leyte – The troubles of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa continue to pile up after a huge amount of drugs was discovered in yesterday’s raid inside the beleaguered local executive’s ancestral home.
Police were able to confiscate an estimated 11 kilos of ‘shabu’ worth around P88 million as well as ingredients for making bombs like black powder, ammonium nitrate, blasting caps and firing wires during the said raid which was conducted after police obtained a search warrant from Baybay City Regional Trial Court Branch 10 judge Carlos Arguilles.
Chief Insp. Maria Bella Rentuaya, spokesperson of the Eastern Visayas Regional Police, said the first operation was conducted at around 5 p.m. on Tuesday when the local police were tipped about the presence of firearms inside a sack near the Espinosa residence.
The responding policemen, according to Rentuaya, seized a submachine gun, a .45 pistol with 100 pieces of live ammunition, three magazines assembly for .45, a hand grenade, a handheld radio, three units of CCTV cameras, bandoliers and holster.
Espinosa’s residence is located in Tinago, Brgy. Binulho, Albuera town which was raided based on arrested personalities who reportedly acted as part of a private army of Espinosa’s son Kerwin.
Sr. Supt. Domingo S. Cabillan, chief of the Police 8 Regional Office operations division said the raid could be the biggest shabu haul in the region this year.
Those confiscated could be used as evidence in filing a case against Espinosa for violating Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act and illegal possession of explosives under Republic Act 9516.
Last week, six members of the Espinosa drug syndicate were killed when they engaged in a shootout with the raiding policemen and also confiscated numerous high powered firearms from the Espinosa compound.
Mayor Espinosa and his son are being implicated in the distribution of illegal drugs in Eastern Visayas, particularly in Ormoc City, Leyte and Southern Leyte areas.
Espinosa turned himself in last week to Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa who then presented the mayor to the press where he admitted that his son Kerwin is their region’s top drugs supplier.
Espinosa stayed at the official residence of Dela Rosa in Camp Crame for several days but was later on asked to leave after his son Kerwin failed to meet the deadline for his surrender.
The elder Espinosa is currently confined in a hospital in Cebu due to chest pains. (With a report from Aaron Recuenco) (NESTOR L. ABREMATEA)