Alleged Espinosa associate killed in Cebu operation
CEBU CITY, Philippines – An alleged associate of wanted drug lord Rolando "Kerwin" Espinosa Jr, was killed in a shootout in Barangay Hipodromo, Cebu City on Thursday, August 4.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Region 7 Director Yogi Filemon Ruiz confirmed the incident in a phone interview with Rappler.
The associate was identified as Julito Prak.
"PDEA agents attempted to arrest Prak during the operation but he fired back," Ruiz told Rappler. He said they attempted to make the arrest after Prak accepted marked money used to buy 10 grams of methamphetamine, locally known as 'shabu.'
PDEA officials said the shabu's estimated value is at about P350,000.
According to PDEA intelligence, Prak is suspected of being Espinosa's distributor for Cebu City and province.
The incident happened not too far from the Espinosas' ancestral home in the same barangay. (READ: Relatives of drug suspect Espinosa to PNP: Spare us)
He was rushed to a public hospital, but died upon arrival.
Police and drug enforcement officers said on Wednesday it was possible Espinosa was hiding in Cebu before it was disclosed that he had left for Malaysia. He was previously arrested in Cebu last 2010 on drug charges. – Rappler.com