Court resets Kerwin Espinosa hearing on drug raps to June

Angel Movido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 06 2018 03:16 PM | Updated as of Apr 06 2018 03:56 PM

MANILA - A local court on Friday granted the prosecution's request to postpone the continuation of trial for Kerwin Espinosa's drug case today.

The Manila Regional Trial court set the next hearing to June 8 due to the unavailability of object evidence, specifically the illegal drugs seized by the police during a drug raid in Espinosa's residence in Albuera, Leyte in July 2016.

The prosecution was scheduled to present 'star witness' Marcelo Adorco, bodyguard of Espinosa's father, former Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.

Adorco appeared in a bullet proof vest before Judge Silvino Pampilo of the court's branch 26. Espinosa was also present during the hearing, heavily escorted by members of the National Bureau of Investigation.

The delay, the prosecution said, was due to the expense in logistics, transporting the evidence from Baybay, Leyte's RTC to Manila, which was deemed vital to Adorco's testimony.

Having no objection, Raymond Fortun, Espinosa's new counsel, also expressed that they are not ready as well to do the cross examination should the prosecution proceed with Adorco's testimony.

In the previous hearings, Adorco also accused Peter Co and Peter Lim as big time drug lords, but the cases filed against them were later dismissed by the Department of Justice.

Espinosa's camp meanwhile was given 5 days to comment on the motion for reconsideration filed by the prosecution on the previously denied motion for inhibition.

The hearing is part of the ongoing trial against Espinosa, who is facing charges of illegal drug trading and possession of firearms. 

Since 2016, witnesses Jun Pepito and Max Miro, lawyers John Ungab and Rogelio Bato Jr, and the elder Espinosa have been killed. Fortun said he does not fear and assures to ferret out the truth.