PNP also eyes rubout angle
THE Philippine National Police will investigate several angles in the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, including the possibility that he was ordered slain to scare his son from revealing the contents of “blue book” on the narcotics trade and traffickers.
PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa, who is in the United States to watch the boxing bout of Senator Manny Pacquiao, ordered the investigation hours after Espinosa and another inmate was killed inside the Baybay City Provincial Jail in Leyte at dawn Saturday.
Dela Rosa said police officials are concerned that the mayor was killed to discourage his son Kerwin Espinosa, who is detained in the United Arab Emirates, for possession of fake travel documents, from testifying against police officials who allegedly received drug and gambling money.
“I hope Kerwin will not be scared and will continue to reveal everything that he said in the initial testimony he gave to investigators. His statements are very crucial,” the PNP chief said in radio interviews.
He said the alleged blue book contains the identities of police officials involved in the protection of the illegal drug trade and vowed to investigate certain regional officials of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
He also ordered the CIDG-Northern Leyte team, led by Chief Inspector Leo Laraga, who was involved in the incident to stay at their headquarters pending the investigation.
“I want to know the truth. We will conduct a proper investigation. The public should not worry. Even if police officials are involved in the investigation, there will be no whitewash. We will ensure there is a clean and impartial investigation,” Dela Rosa said.
Dela Rosa suggested that there may be a connection between the killing of Espinosa and Kerwin’s supposed source Edgar Allan Alvarez, who was also killed by policemen last August during an alleged raid inside the Leyte Regional Penitentiary in Abuyog town.
“We will include that in the investigation. We’ll find out if the same persons were involved in the deaths of Espinosa and Alvarez,” Dela Rosa said.
Laraga, for his part, insisted that detained Espinosa was killed because he lobbed a grenade at the police team that was supposedly tasked to serve a warrant of arrest against Espinosa on another case.
Laraga said the jail guard on duty barred them from entering the detention facility and his team was forced to use a bolt cutter to “break in” to the jail.
The team leader expressed confidence that he and his team will be cleared in the investigation because the CCTV cameras installed in the provincial jail will show what really happened during the supposed raid.