LEYTE, Philippines – Police arrested Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr on Wednesday, October 5, for violation of the country’s laws on illegal drugs and firearms.
Chief Superintendent Elmer Beltejar, Philippine National Police Eastern Visayas regional director, said Espinosa was served a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Carlos Arguelles of Regional Trial Court Branch 14 in Baybay City.
This is for violation of Republic Act No 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, stemming from a PNP raid on his house that yielded 11 kilos of suspected methamphetamine worth an estimated P88 million, and high-powered weapons.
Espinosa was brought to RTC Branch 14 after the warrant was served. He was committed to the Leyte subprovincial jail in Baybay City.
Beltejar said that with the arrest of Espinosa, authorities are hopeful that the mayor’s son, suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, would surrender.
Espinosa was under the protective custody of Albuera police, and even held office at the town police station, after he returned from Manila where he voluntarily surrendered to PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa in August.
Espinosa and members of his family even stayed for a few days at the PNP chief’s official residence in Camp Crame following his surrender in August, as he feared for his life. The Espinosas were “evicted” after Kerwin failed to meet the PNP’s surrender deadline.
On Wednesday, Dela Rosa said the PNP will seek the help of the Royal Malaysia Police and the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) in arresting Kerwin, who is believed to be in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Espinosa and some relatives, friends, and employees from the Mayor’s office urged Kerwin to surrender. Espinosa assured his son that he would be in safe hands with the Albuera police chief, Chief Inspector Juvy Espinido.
This is a departure from an affidavit that Espinosa executed before the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) after his surrender in Camp Crame, where he alleged that Espinido had threatened his life. – Rappler.com