MANILA - Several minutes before Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa fetched suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2, the country's top cop shared his conversation with Espinosa the night before.
Dela Rosa told journalists that Espinosa fears for his life. He assured Espinosa that he will not die when he returns to the Philippines.
Espinosa was afraid that he might suffer the same fate as his murdered father, Albuera, Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.
The two talked over the phone. Dela Rosa told Espinosa: "Hindi ka mamamatay, andito ako. Ako bahala sa 'yo."
(You won't die. I'm here. I got your back.)
Dela Rosa said several unnamed parties want Espinosa dead.
"Sometime, may panahon na hindi mo malaman kung sino dapat pagkatiwalaan mo. 'Yung sindikato ng droga, napakalalim. Di mo alam sino kakampi mo, kalaban mo sa giyera na ito," Dela Rosa said.
(Sometimes, there are times that you do not know who you can trust. The drug syndicate, it's very deep. You do not know who your friends are, your enemies in this war.)
The PNP chief also disclosed that other drug lords are threatened by Espinosa's potential testimony.
"Sa drug world pa lang na ginagalawan niya, may threat siya sa lahat ngayon. He's a very big threat to all."
(In the drug world where he operates, he is being threatened. He's a very big threat to all.) - with reports from Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News