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Espinosa drug source killed in prison raid

Police raided the Abuyog Penal Colony in Leyte yesterday morning, killing one of the target inmates who was tagged as among the main suppliers of illegal drugs in Eastern Visayas.

Chief Supt. Roel Obusan, director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), said Edgard Allan Alvarez was killed when he was shot after he lobbed a grenade and tried to shoot it out with the raiding team.

“The grenade was lobbed during the implementation of the search warrant inside the penal colony. Fortunately, the grenade did not go off,” said Obusan.

Obusan said Alvarez died on the spot during the operation conducted at around 4:30 a.m. yesterday. Seized from him was a .45 pistol.

The Abuyog Penal Colony, which has a population of more than 1,200 inmates, is one of the seven prisons being maintained by the Bureau of Corrections.

The prison facility was mentioned by Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa as one of the areas where his son Kerwin gets his regular supply of illegal drugs being distributed in Eastern Visayas.

Kerwin, who remains at large, is tagged as a top-level drug lord in Eastern Visayas which directly reports to convicted drug lord Peter Co who is detained at the National Bilibid Prisons.

Supt. Marvin Marcos, head of the CIDG Eastern Visayas unit, said they applied for a search warrant after confirming reports of illegal drugs transactions inside the penal colony.

He said that after the death of Alvarez, his men also seized a big pack of dried marijuana leaves and more than 15 small sachets believed to be containing shabu.

A background check revealed that Alvarez was convicted on the case of kidnapping-for-ransom with murder in 2007. He was brought to the Abuyog Penal Colony in 2009.

Chief Insp. Maria Bella Rentuaya, spokesperson of the Eastern Visayas regional police, said officials and prison guards of the Abuyog Penal Colony are expected to be investigated.

“This will be investigated because of the firearms and grenade inside, as well as the suspected illegal drugs. They will have to explain,” said Rentuaya.

Rentuaya said the local police immediately scoured the jail to look for deadly weapons and illegal drugs.

During the surrender of Espinosa, national police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said they have been receiving reports that most of the penal colonies are also becoming sources of illegal drugs. (AARON RECUENCO)