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Espinosa enters ‘not guilty’ plea

BAYBAY CITY, Leyte – Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando R. Espinosa Sr. entered a “not guilty plea” during yesterday’s arraignment regarding the two criminal charges he is facing at Regional Trial Court Branch 14 .

Presiding Judge Carlos O. Arguelles presided over the arraignment proceedings against Mayor Espinosa who stands charged for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunitions Regulation Act.

Mayor Espinosa, represented by his Cebu City-based counsel Atty. Laylaine Villarino also had his wife and children during the arraignment.

Jail guards of the Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail together with policemen from the Leyte Police Provincial Office escorted back Mayor Espinosa to his detention cell after the arraignment.

The criminal charges against Mayor Espinosa and his missing son Kerwin stemmed from the August 10 and 11 raids made by members of the Albuera, Leyte Police Station and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) led by District Director Supt. Marvin Marcos at the Espinosa compound at Sitio Tinago.

Barangay Binulho 2, Albuera town that resulted to the confiscation of numerous firearms, ammunition and around R88 million worth of shabu.

The two criminal charges against Mayor Espinosa and his son Kerwin were not bailable.

Meanwhile, Albuera, Leyte Vice Mayor Rosa Meneses has assumed as acting mayor following the arrest of Mayor Espinosa last week. (NESTOR L. ABREMATEA)