'Cop who led raid in Espinosa slay got P3-M payola'

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 23 2016 02:23 PM


MANILA - Suspected drug boss Kerwin Espinosa claimed Wednesday that he gave at least P3 million to the police official who led the raid that led to the killing of his father, Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa. 

The younger Espinosa said he met Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 8 Director Marvin Marcos through a longtime protector, whom he only identified as "Major Abordo." 

The crime lord said he instructed Abordo to give his number to Marcos, after receiving information in February 2015 that the CID8-8 chief will intensify operations to dismantle his drug ring. 

"'Yung balita kasi, iyung area namin sa Albuera, hotspot. Sabi sa akin ni Major Abordo, bossing ko iyan (Marcos), 100 plus na tao, mga pulis, ang dinala d'yan. Ang purpose n'yan ay i-neutralize iyung mga tao ko dahil armado raw kami," Espinosa said at a Senate hearing. 

He said Marcos called him on the same day, with an offer of "help" if Espinosa contributes to the campaign funds of the policeman's wife, then a vice mayoral bet in neighboring Pestrana town. 

"Sabi niya, para walang problema iyung mga tao niyo, makagalaw kayo, magtulungan tayo... Sabi niya, Kerwin, may hihingin din akong pabor sayo," Epinosa said. 

"Sabi ko, walang problema iyun, sabihin mo kung anong maitulong ko. Sabi niya, iyung asawa ko tumatakbong vice mayor ng Pastrana sa lugar namin, kulang kami ng funding." 

Espinosa said Marcos initially demanded P3 million, but the drug lord insisted that he was saving his money for his father's own electoral campaign. He said the official eventually agreed to a payola of P2.5 million. 

Espinosa said he had to save up his drug profits and was only able to remit the first tranche of P1.5 million to Marcos two days before the May 9 elections. 

"May 7, nagbigay ako sa kanya. Tinawagan ko siya, umagang-umaga, [P] 1.5 [million] lang iyung perang nalikom ko sir. Sabi sige, iyan muna, kuhanin ko na lang iyan muna," he said, adding that his father gave the money to Marcos at the Espinosas' hotel

The self-confessed drug trafficker said he gave another P1 million to Marcos on May 8. 

It was at this point that he pressed Marcos on what he could offer in payment. The police official allegedly promised to tip off Kerwin about the police checkpoints they will set up. 

"Hinihingi ko na iyung kapalit ng pera na ibinigay ko.... Sabi niya ganito ang gagawin natin, kapag nag-checkpoint kami, sasabihin sa 'yo kung saang barangay kasi ma-disgrasya ang mga tao mo, magka-problema tayo," Espinosa shared. 

"Sa madaling salita, siya ang head ng augment ng mga pulis na mag-neutralize sa 'min, siya pa ang naging timbre o protektor na hindi ma-neautralize ang tao namin." 

Espinosa said the policeman made good on his promise on Election Day itself with a tip that allowed the drug lord's men to evade a checkpoint. 

Satisfied with Marcos' alleged aid, Espinosa said he promised to give the officer a "bonus" of P500,000 if his father wins the election. 

"Ni-promise-an ko siya na pag nanalo ang papa ko, may bonus ka sa akin. Kinabukasan nanalo ang papa ko... Inano niya sa akin yung bonus niya, binigyan namin ng P500,000," he said. 

"So ang kabuuang ibinigay namin sa kanya, P3 million."

Espinosa said CCTV clips from their hotel will prove his meetings with Marcos. But the device's hard drive, he claimed, has been confiscated by Albuera police chief Jovie Espenido. 

"Kinuha ni sir Jovie yung hard drive ng hotel, pati mga camera, kinuha niya. Inilagay sa police station," he said.

Espinosa's father was killed after an alleged shootout with CIDG-8 operatives searching his jail cell. 

Shootout or rubout? Espinosa photos tell 2 stories

In an earlier Senate hearing on the operation, Marcos claimed that he was outside the compound of Baybay City Sub Provincial Jail when the raiding team served the search warrant against the elder Espinosa.

Marcos also refuted a news report that Espinosa, who was earlier tagged by President Duterte as a "narco-politician," begged for his life before he was killed.