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Kerwin seeks role as state witness

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Suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa has showed an intention to cooperate with the government’s no let up drive against illegal drugs.

This was revealed by former whistleblower Sandra Cam who joined the Philippine National Police (PNP) contingent that will escort Espinosa from Abu Dhabi back to the Philippines.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Cam said that Espinosa already requested the ambassador to place him under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) and to provide protection to his common-law-wife and three children.

Cam is in Abu Dhabi in her capacity as president of the Whistleblower Association of the Philippines.

“I came here just for that. Remember, ‘yung mga inmates sa Bilibid, ako din ang nag-legwork dun. I wanted to ask him what kind of protection we can give to him because the President said, he wants him to be alive,” said Cam.

PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa sent a team from the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) headed by Senior Supt. Albert Ignatius Ferro to Abu Dhabi to fetch Kerwin and at the same time get him to execute an affidavit from him.

“Our initial plan is to get his affidavit at the (Philippine) Embassy after the turnover but it is not the protocol which is being implemented there,” said Dela Rosa. “The protocol is that the turnover of Kerwin would be done at the door of the airplane (in Abu Dhabi airport).”

As such, he said they would get the testimony of Kerwin when the latter arrives at Camp Crame this morning.

Dela Rosa said Justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre has been thoroughly working on the necessary papers that will qualify Espinosa under the WPP.

“He is very important. He holds the key to the future of others involved in the illegal drug trade,” said Dela Rosa.

“So far, there was no glitches in the processing of the papers so we expect to arrive them early Friday (today)”.

As part of the security, Kerwin will no longer be taken to a Leyte court which issued the arrest warrant against him.

Instead, government lawyers would talk to the judge who issued the warrant about the security risk of bringing Kerwin to Leyte.

Dela Rosa said Espinosa will be detained at the PNP Custodial Center, the maximum security detention facility at Camp Crame in Quezon City which has been the home for top terrorists, rebel leaders and known personalities implicated in controversial cases.

Currently, among those detained at the Custodial Center are former senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada for charges of plunder in connection with the pork barrel scam.

Espinosa’s father Rolando Sr. was gunned down inside his jail early this month in Leyte after reportedly trying to fire his gun at police authorities who were out to conduct a search warrant inside the late mayor’s cell.

Kerwin meantime was arrested in Abu Dhabi last month after employees of Cam based in United Arab Emirates recognized the young Espinosa who has a standing arrest warrant for charges relating to illegal drugs and possession of firearms. (AARON RECUENCO)

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