"Kerwin, you better surrender or die."
With these words, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa challenged the son of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. to surrender to authorities after the latter admitted his son is a drug lord.
Speaking at a press conference, Dela Rosa said the mayor traveled all the way from Leyte to Camp Crame and surrendered to him at 4 a.m. after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Espinosa to surrender or face a "shoot-on-sight" order.
'Narco' mayor surrenders
He said the mayor admitted that he is a protector of a drug lord in Eastern Visayas, who is none other than his own son, Kerwin. He said Kerwin's drug source is a certain Peter Co, and that the drugs come from a prison facility in Abuyog, Leyte.
"He admitted what his son is doing pero hindi niya ma-control ang kanyang anak. We will ask CIDG [Criminal Investigation and Detection Group] to investigate it...He admitted his son is into drug dealing," Dela Rosa said.
"All we know is he is a drug lord and if he fights the police, he will die."
Dela Rosa then gave a warning to the mayor's son:
"Kung nakikinig si Kerwin, your father has already surrendered. You should follow your father. Paghindi ka nag-surrender, mamamatay ka talaga. Mabuti pa na mag-surrender.
"Kung hindi siya manlaban, buhay siya. Kung manlaban siya, I will presume he is armed and dangerous according to reports and he will be shot."
NO LONGER IN PH?
He said the PNP has information the younger Espinosa might have left the country for Singapore or Malaysia.
The young drug lord also had plastic surgery done, according to the mayor.
Dela Rosa admitted that no case has been filed against Espinosa but noted the mayor is on the President's watch list of local executives with links to drug syndicates.
He said the mayor promised to help make his town drug-free in two months if given a chance.
"He promised to me that given the chance to go back to his hometown and govern his municipality, he will really have zero tolerance on drugs," Dela Rosa said.
"Pag may mabili pa akong drugs sa munisipyo, ako na bahala sa iyo," he added.
'GUSTO KO PA MABUHAY'
For his part, Espinosa admitted that he gave himself up to the PNP chief because he was afraid of the shoot-to-kill order from the President. The PNP chief said the mayor had been waiting since Monday to surrender to him.
Asked if he would go back on his word to change, he said: "Patayin ako ni General dela Rosa."
"Natakot talaga ako dahil gusto ko pa mabuhay."
Espinosa also denied that he is a narco-politician using drug money for his political plans.
"No. I use my own money. My family is in the US. My mother and sisters and brothers helped me during the election," he said.
Espinosa also admitted that he has known about his son's dealings with drug syndicates for some time.
"He [has his] own decision. Hindi ko siya pwedeng hawakan dahil malaki na siya at mayroon siyang kanyang pag-iisip," he said.
The PNP chief then asked the mayor: "Mayor, kung ayaw mag-surrender ni Kerwin at siya lumaban, papatayin namin siya. Ok lang sa iyo?"
The mayor replied: "Okay."