Mayor Espinosa's lawyer shot dead

Geron Ponferrada, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 23 2016 05:29 PM | Updated as of Aug 24 2016 12:08 PM

TACLOBAN CITY (UPDATED) – The lawyer of embattled Albuera, Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. was shot dead in this city on Tuesday afternoon.

Lawyer Rogelio Bato Jr. was killed at around 2 p.m. in Sitio Lumbang 2 in Barangay Calanipawan.

Police said Bato was driving when he was fired upon by unknown assailants.

Bato's female companion, who was identified as a student, also died in the shooting.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier tagged Espinosa as a coddler of drug syndicates. 

Espinosa surrendered to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and admitted that his son, Ronald "Kerwin" Espinosa Jr., was a top drug trafficker in the Visayas.

Kerwin is still in hiding and has yet to respond to police calls to surrender.

With no formal charges against him, the older Espinosa has gone back to work.

Espinosa met with Albuera police chief, Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido, on Monday and Tuesday. 

Espenido on Monday clarified that Espinosa was not arrested but came to his office for a meeting.

That was their first meeting since Espenido assumed the chief of police post last July.