Mayor links triad head

Espinosa: Drug deals thriving inside Bilibid

A TOWN mayor who surrendered to President Rodrigo Duterte has admitted that his son, who is still at large, was dealing in drugs with Chinese triad leader Peter Co, who is serving time in the New Bilibid Prison, Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa said Tuesday.

At a press briefing in Camp Crame, Dela Rosa said no case has been filed against Mayor Rolando Espinosa of Albuera, Leyte, who surrendered early Tuesday morning saying he feared for his life.

“He admitted that his son is really into drug dealing,” Dela Rosa said, adding that Espinosa told him that Kerwin was getting his supply of illegal drugs from Peter Co.

Co, along with Peter Lim and Herbert Colangco, were identified by President Rodrigo Duterte as the country’s top drug lords.

“[Espinosa] said that he cannot control his son,” Dela Rosa said.

IN A SPOT.  Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa (left) surrenders to National Police director general Ronald  dela Rosa in Camp Crame on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016,  following President Duterte's shoot-to-kill order on the local official and his drug-dealing son, Kerwin Espinosa, who remained  at large as of press time. Lino Santos
Espinosa surrendered to Duterte on Tuesday after  he was given a 24-hour ultimatum to surrender or be shot on sight.

“Mayor Rolando Espinosa has surrendered and [is] now under custody of General Dela Rosa. The son, Kerwin, is still at large,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said. 

The ultimatum came after two of the mayor’s bodyguards and three of his employees were arrested in a buy-bust operation in Albuera Thursday. Police seized P1.9 million worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu during the operation.

Suspects were identified as Jessie Ocarez, 34; and Marcelo Adorco, 40. Also arrested were Jose Antipuesto, 36; Ernesto Dumalat, 20; and Jeffrey Pesquera, 39.

Dela Rosa said Espinosa has promised to cooperate with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and to provide information about Kerwin’s drug links.

Dela Rosa said the order for the authorities to “shoot on sight” remains for Kerwin.

“To Kerwin, if you’re here in the country, you better surrender or die,” Dela Rosa said. 

Local police said they had received unverified information that the younger Espinosa may have undergone surgery to change his looks.

“We cannot ascertain where he is. We also have not yet confirmed if the information that he had his face altered is true. We still don’t have a validated report about this,” Senior Supt. Franco Simborio said. 

The younger Espinosa allegedly operates in Ormoc, Leyte and in other provinces, including Cebu.

Dela Rosa said Mayor Espinosa should return to his hometown and implement a zero tolerance policy on the use of illegal drugs in two months.

Dela Rosa said they could not hold the mayor because there was no warrant out for his arrest.

Meanwhile, a Visayan lawmaker confessed before his colleagues of being a former drug addict and vowed to help the Duterte administration in its no-nonse campaign against illegal drugs.

In a privilege speech, Negros Oriental Rep. Arnulfo Teves admitted to being a drug addict, but said he has not taken drugs in the last 16 years.

“I would like to take this opportunity to admit… As a recovering addict, I was for a very long time a drug addict. But I have been clean for the last 16 plus years,” Teves said as he rallied behind President Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs.

Teves proposed a cheap rehabilitation program that would spend P2,500 per addict. With PNA

Topics: Illegal drugs , Illegal drug trade , New Bilibid Prison , drug deals , thriving , Mayor Rolando Espinosa , anti-drug law , PNP chief Ronald Dela Rosa
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