MANILA - A local police chief believes that Albuera town mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. was killed to stop him from revealing information about people allegedly involved in illegal drugs.
"I believe this is a big group, ano, because as in the case of Mayor Espinosa, there are so many people involved - politicians, PNP personnel, army. Ang dami talaga," Albuera Police Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido told ANC.
He added that the pre-dawn search was questionable, given that Espinosa had several pending cases.
"Sa atin naman, very obvious naman na ganoon ang mangyari. Hindi naman magsabi tayo na nag-ano ako kay Mayor Espinosa pero sa ganito bang pangyayari, 'yung kaso ba, si Mayor Espinosa is we have filed four or five cases kay Mayor Espinosa. May apat na warrant of arrest, no bail lahat, tapos ang i-apply mo lang na maliit na kaso than sa pending cases filed natin sa kanya, for what reason na ganoon lang," Espenido said.
(It is expected that something like that will happen. Mayor Espinosa was facing several charges, all non-bailable, yet his jail cell was searched for a minor charge.)
According to the police chief, security at the provincial jail is very strict, and it would be very difficult for Espinosa to bring in a gun to his cell.
"I already observed 'yung pamamalakad ng jail guard natin sa provincial jail kasi hinatid ko si Mayor Espinosa doon nung may commitment order na mula sa Albuera Municipal Police Station. Istrikto talaga. Pagpasok nga, hindi tayo makapasok doon na may dalang baril, maski PNP, maski ako mismo, maski 'yung provincial director ko," Espenido said.
(I already observed the manner they run the provincial jail because I was the one who brought Mayor Espinosa there. They are very strict. We can't even bring in our guns.)
"Sa akin Ma'am, hindi naman ako sa Panginoon at sa area noong nangyari pero talagang halatang halata talaga," he added.
(In my opinion, although I was not there when the incident happened, it is very obvious [that Espinosa was silenced].)
CIDG chief's aunt on Espinosa's 'blue book'
Meanwhile, in an interview with ABS-CBN News, Espenido said Lalaine Marcos Jimenea, a local journalist, was among those listed on Espinosa's "blue book."
"Yes, 'yung Lalaine Jimenea. Tiyahin talaga, 'yung father niya (PNP CIDG Region 8 chief Supt. Marvin Marcos), kapatid ni Lalaine," he said.
He added that aside from being a journalist, Jimenea is also a public relation officer of Ormoc City.
Jimenea is among the officials charged by Albuera Police in relation to the illegal drug trade.
PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 8 chief Supt. Marvin Marcos has so far refused to comment on his aunt's alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.
Espinosa was killed in his jail cell on Saturday after allegedly firing shots at operatives of the CIDG serving search warrants at the Baybay Provincial Jail.
Marcos had said the pre-dawn search was done to maintain an element of surprise.