PNP readies Kerwin arrival in Leyte

By: Jazmin Bonifacio

Eastern Visayas police laid down their security plans for `worst case’ scenarios in relation to the arrival of alleged drug lord Rolando ‘Kerwin’ Espinosa Jr. Upon his arrival from the United Arab Emirates, he will be transported from the Romualdez Airport to Baybay City where he will be detained. He hid in the Arab country and was eventually captured by their authorities.

Kerwin Espinosa who is still under the UEA government custody, after his arrest early morning of October 17, 2016 in Abu Dhabi.

He is the son of detained Albuera town Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr, and has a standing warrant of arrest for violating RA No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.

The cases filed against Mayor Espinosa and his son Kerwin stems from a police raid on Mayor Espinosa’s house that yielded 11 kilograms of shabu worth PHP88 million, and high-powered firearms.

According to Eastern Visayas PNP regional director Chief Superintendent Elmer Beltejar, the operational security plan will be managed by the PNP regional office thru its Deputy Regional Director for Operations for prevention and deterrence. But he declared his preparedness to respond tactically to a threat if the situation dictates.

“A tight security will be implemented and everything we do now is planning for the worst-case scenario because Kerwin is a level 3 high value target for an attack,” Beltejar said.

PNP intelligence reports also reveal that during the `glory days’ of Kerwin, the Espinosa group allegedly supply 30 to 50 kilos of shabu every month to different areas in the region.

Meanwhile, with the expected arrival of Kerwin, the police in the region is eyeing for the filing of the third batch of cases to government officials who are implicated in Espinosa’s list of coddlers and protectors or ‘payola list.’

And with the arrest of Kerwin Espinosa, the police is optimistic that more cases will be filed against alleged protectors of the Espinosa group.

Last, October 26, a case was filed at the PNP Internal Affairs Service in Quezon City against 10 PNP members who were assigned previously in Eastern Visayas and whose names allegedly appear in Espinosa drug payola list.

Earlier, a case has been filed by the Albuera police office against politicians, police officials, media practitioners, and private individuals who were at the Espinosa drug matrix as disclosed by Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa, Sr. and their body guards.

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Eastern Vista

Eastern Vista is an alternative media organization in Eastern Visayas. Stories of people in the struggle for justice and aid after super typhoon Yolanda inspired its creation in 2014. Eastern Vista is also a co-producer of Lingganay han Kamatuoran, a Waray-based radio magazine program airing since 2003. From Eastern Philippines, Eastern Vista shares the news and views from a people rising.