Honasan wants Kerwin Espinosa under protective custody

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 10 2016 12:07 PM

MANILA – Kerwin Espinosa, the alleged drug lord and son of slain Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., must live to tell his story on the narcotics trade in the country, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Thursday.

Lacson said there are already people in touch with Espinosa as he awaits his repatriation back to the Philippines.

"These are individuals to whom he has already validated several names in his blue book. The list includes recipients of campaign contributions in the recent 2016 national and local elections," he said.

The younger Espinosa was arrested last month in Abu Dhabi after some overseas Filipino workers tipped off authorities about his presence.

For his part, Sen. Gregorio Honasan said Espinosa should be placed under the protective custody of Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa or even the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP).

Last week, the Philippine Embassy in the United Arab Emirates said Espinosa is still detained at the Al Wathba jail in Abu Dhabi.

"The imminent deportation of Kerwin Espinosa must be given utmost attention and security concern by this government if it's really sincere and serious in breaking wide open to identify those in government who benefited in the drug dealing activities," Lacson said.

Kerwin's father was killed in an alleged shootout with authorities serving him a search warrant at the Baybay Provincial Jail on November 5.

The Albuera mayor was supposed to reveal the identities of around 30 individuals involved in the narcotics trade with his son, among them a senator, police and congressmen, but changed his mind for fear of his life.

Lacson said the mayor's death was not a simple a case of "nanlaban at napatay".

"Foremost in our minds is why would Mayor Espinosa even attempt to put up a fight while he was trapped inside a prison cell with nowhere to go, not to mention that he had surrendered and was fully cooperating hoping to become a state witness? Nothing make sense," said Lacson.

He narrated other incidents involving people connected to the Espinosas who were killed since August of this year. The list included the mayor's lawyer and Kerwin's ex-wife.

"The committee therefore requires the PNP to report on the status of the above cases," he said.

Lacson said several questions--including what necessitated for the search warrant when mayor Espinosa was already in the custody of the government; why is it necessary to serve the search warrant at past 3 a.m.; was there proof that the mayor and inmate Yap actually fired at the operatives during the serving of warrants; and why was the hard drive of the CCTV missing--come to mind that beg to be answered.

"The death of Mayor Espinosa obviously affects the probative value of his sworn statement revealing the names of the ones on top of the drug trade particularly the protectors," he said.