CAMP RUPERTO KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – Troubled town mayor Rolando Espinosa, Sr. has been arrested after two warrants of arrest were served in connection with the illegal drugs and firearms found in his residence during a raid two months ago.
Leyte Police Provincial Director Sr. Supt. Franco Simborio led the team in serving the twin warrants issued by Baybay RTC Judge Carlos Arguelles.
Prosecutors said they have found probable cause against the Espinosas.
No bail bond was recommended.
Espinosa was arrested at the Albuera Municipal Station where he has been holding office since he returned to his hometown.
Espinosa initially surrendered to Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa last August 2 just a few hours after he was named by President Duterte as one of the country’s narco-politicians. He is said to be the main protector of his son Kerwin who is being accused as the top drug lord of the region.
The elder Espinosa spilled the beans when he admitted that Kerwin has been distributing drugs in the region and that the supply comes from alleged drug lord Peter Co who is detained in Abuyog, Leyte.
Espinosa initially stayed at the official residence of Dela Rosa but was eventually kicked out after his son failed to surrender.
Reports have it that the younger Espinosa was able to leave the country and is said to be hiding in Malaysia.
The beleaguered town mayor sought protective custody from the Albuera police after his lawyer Atty. Rogelio Bato, Jr. was gunned down the same month.
Back-to-back raids were down in Espinosa’s place last August 10 and 11 where R88-million worth of suspected shabu and firearms were discovered.
“The second arrest warrant was addressed to Mayor Espinosa and his son Kerwin for illegal possession of firearms.
This is in connection with the encounter near his house,” said Chief Supt. Jovie Espenido of the Albuera police.
“Actually, he was just beside my office. He had been staying inside the police station after he sought for police custody.”
Espinosa was set to be transferred to the Leyte Provincial jail while his cases are being litigated.
It was reported that Espinosa has a pending application to turn state witness under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) after he filed an affidavit pointing to several police and local officials as his drug cohorts.
(NESTOR ABREMATEA & AARON RECUENCO)