By: Analou de Vera
The scheduled arraignment yesterday of suspected drug lord Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr. was moved to Oct. 20.
According to Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 26 Presiding Judge Silvino Pampilo Jr., the postponement was made to resolve the other motions that were transferred to him from the sala of Presiding Judge Carlos Arguelles of Baybay, Leyte RTC Branch 14, who originally handled the case of the Espinosas.
Kerwin Espinosa, who was wearing a bullet proof vest, arrived at the Manila RTC around 8:50 a.m. He was escorted by members of the Intelligence Service Operations Group (ISOG) of the Department of Justice.
The court, meanwhile, dismissed the cases against the late Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. The cases were possession of dangerous drugs, illegal drug trading, and illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
As stated in the Article 89 of Revised Penal Code, Criminal liability is totally extinguished “only when the death of the offender occurs before final judgment.”
The older Espinosa was killed, together with another inmate named Raul Yap, after they allegedly shot it out with the lawmen serving a search warrant inside the Leyte Sub- Provincial Jail in Baybay City early morning of Nov. 5, 2016.
Furthermore, the court gave the defense camp five days to file a motion to quash information against the cases filed by the prosecution, while the prosecution camp was also given the same duration to file motion to amend information against the Espinosas.
The trial was transferred to Manila upon the request of both camps for security reasons.