MANILA – The camp of Kerwin Espinosa on Tuesday denied that self-confessed drug trader backtracked on his affidavit with regard to Albuera, Leyte police chief Jovie Espenido.
Espinosa’s lawyer, Lani Villarino said there was no statement to backtrack because Kerwin never linked Espenido to the illegal drug trade.
“Kerwin is not changing any of his statements written in his affidavit. Wala siyang binabawi,” Villarino told ABS-CBN News.
“Tungkol sa drug money, never niyang sinabi na tumanggap si Jovie Espenido. Just to make the record straight, walang sinabi si Kerwin from the very beginning na bingyan niya si Jovie Espenido. Kaya wala siyang dapat i-backtrack, wala siyang dapat bawiin.”
Philippine National Police chief Ronald Dela Rosa on Monday said Espinosa had taken back his statement linking Espenido to the illegal drug trade.
Dela Rosa said he has not ordered any disciplinary action against Espenido because Espinosa has confessed that the cop is "not corrupt."
"Wala akong aksyon na ginawa sa kanya (Espenido) dahil nga undergoing investigation. Hindi ko muna siya ni-restrain. Lalo na ngayon na binawi niya iyung pagkasabi niyang ganoon. Talaga raw matino, ayaw magpa-corrupt," Dela Rosa told reporters at Camp Crame.
In his handwritten letter using the Visayan language, Espinosa said he is not changing any part of his statement on Espenido.
Espinosa made no mention of his supposed retraction of Espenido’s link to the illegal drug trade, but he stressed that it was the police official who made it possible for him to reach then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
“Wala akong binabawi sa aking statement o affidavit lalo na kay Jovy Espinedo dahil siya siya talaga ang tumawag sa akin kung paano ako nagkaroon ng koneksyon kay Ma’am Leila de Lima,” Espinosa said.
Espinosa said, Espenido took a 5% commission on the properties his family sold.
“Si Jovy Espinedo nanghihingi ng 5% sa mga nabenta namin na properties at mayroon kaming ebidensya at na-videohan si Jovy Espinedo sa loob ng kanyang opisina na nagbibilang sila ng pera para sa kanyang komisyon na pera at ang sasakyan nila ang kinuha namin at motor din niya ang pina-raffle niya para sa mga Albuera, Leyte,” Espinosa said.
During a Senate hearing into the controversial death of his father, Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., Kerwin claimed that he gave a total of P8 million to De Lima as protection money.
Espinosa said he met De Lima’s driver-bodyguard, Ronnie Dayan, through Espenido.
Espinosa also claimed that Espenido once tried to have him killed in the 1990s because they were working for opposing political clans.
He said he worked for the Locsin family while Espenido was with the Codilla family.
Espinosa also accused Espenido of taking bank deposit slips during a raid in his house in Barangay Binolho, Albuera, Leyte last August 2016. He said the bank deposit slips would show his alleged drug payoffs to different individuals.
A dark green Toyota Fortuner with plate number ABA 6123, which was previously owned by a certain "Major Abordo", was also seized by Espenido, according to Espinosa.
Espenido has denied the accusations, adding that he will not step down. He said he would rather be relieved from his position as Albuera police chief and be assigned elsewhere.