MANILA - Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa said Friday morning that the PNP is treating Kerwin Espinosa both as a suspect and a witness.
"Binabalance lang namin ‘yung aming treatment sa kanya. Very vital siya," Dela Rosa said in a press conference in Camp Crame after the extradition of the alleged drug lord back to the Philippines.
(We are treating him both as an arrested suspect and as a witness. We are balancing our treatment of him.)
According to the country's top cop, Espinosa is the "missing piece of the puzzle" who can give vital information on the illegal drug trade in the country.
"Kerwin is like the missing link. He is like the missing piece of the puzzle. Ganoong kahalaga iyung kanyang papel," Dela Rosa said.
(Kerwin is like the missing link. He is like the missing piece of the puzzle. That’s how vital he is in this story.)
Dela Rosa told journalists that Espinosa is willing to tell everything he knows about the drug trade.
"Sinabi naman niya sa akin na since namatay na 'yung kanyang father, he is willing to tell all, he is willing to tell everything that he knows regarding the illegal drug trade na kung saan sya involved."
(He told me that since his father has died already, he is willing to tell all, he is willing to tell everything that he knows regarding the illegal drug trade where he is involved.)
"Sabihin niya lahat kung sino supplier niya, distributor niya, upline, downline, protectors, lahat-lahat, sasabihin nya," Dela Rosa said.
(He will tell everything. His supplier, distributor, upline, downline, protector. Everything.)
Dela Rosa also claimed that part of Espinosa’s revenues from the drug trade were given to politicians during the last elections.
According to Dela Rosa, Espinosa's statements will be made into an affidavit. He said they will coordinate with the Department of Justice to determine whether Espinosa will be included in the witness protection program.
Espinosa said during the press conference that he feels safe with his police escorts and is no longer afraid for his life.
He was worried he might suffer the same fate as his father who was killed inside a jail cell.
"Ngayon, wala na akong takot sa pulis... Na-feel ko yung safety ko. Na safe na ako," Espinosa told reporters.
(I no longer fear the police… I can feel am safe.)
Espinosa also denied that he used backdoor channels when he tried to evade arrest.
According to Espinosa, he went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia first and then flew to Phuket, Thailand. From Phuket, he went to Bangkok before flying to Hong Kong. From Hong Kong, he flew to Abu Dhabi, UAE where he stayed until he was arrested.
Dela Rosa also said Espinosa had a nose job in his attempt to evade arrest. However, Espinosa claimed he had his nose fixed way before the controversy.