MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday cleared a police official tagged as one of the alleged protectors of self-confessed drug trader Kerwin Espinosa.
Kerwin earlier claimed in a Senate hearing that Chief Supt. Asher Dolina, former police director for Eastern Visayas, was one of his protectors.
Duterte, however, said information reaching him showed that Dolina is “clean.”
“Doon ko nalaman si Dolina, malinis. Si Marcos, may tama,” Duterte said, without elaborating.
Duterte was most likely referring to Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 8 Director Marvin Marcos, who led the raiding team that killed the younger Espinosa’s father, Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.
During the Senate hearing, the younger Espinosa said he gave at least P3 million to Marcos as campaign fund for the latter’s wife.
Marcos denied in the same hearing that he had received payoffs from Espinosa.
Kerwin, meanwhile, said Dolina reached him through his bagman, Victor Espina.
He said Espina originally wanted to ask P500,000 from him monthly, but he was able to lower the amount to P300,000 a month.
Kerwin said he issued checks through Espina, who deposited them to the bank account of a woman who accompanied him.
He added he and Espina talked over the phone every time he made a deposit. The woman allegedly withdrew the money and bought it to Camp Pitik in Tacloban to give it to Dolina.
Apart from the monthly payoffs, Espinosa claimed giving three deposits for Espina: P3 million in February 2015, P2 million a week after, and another P1 million after a week.
The P3 million in the P6 million total of deposits, he said, was an "advance" of Dolina's payoffs; the P1.75-million was for the purchase of guns in Manila; and the P1.2-million was Espina's agent's fee.