Albuera Mayor Espinosa shot dead in Leyte jail raid

BAYBAY CITY, Leyte — Detained Albuera town Mayor Rolando Espinosa was killed early Saturday inside the sub-provincial jail in this city while the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Eastern Visayas served a search warrant at his prison cell.

The CIDG served the search warrant at about 4 a.m. on Saturday for alleged illegal possession of firearms, when the mayor reportedly “fired upon the raiding team”.

Another inmate, Raul Yap, who was subject to a search warrant for possession of illegal drugs, was also killed.

“The raid ensued in a firefight and resulted in the death of the subjects. It was purely a CIDG operation. The Scene of the Crime Operatives proceeded to the place of incident to process the crime scene,” said Philippine National Police (PNP) regional director, Chief Supt. Elmer Beltejar.

Espinosa has been detained at the Leyte sub-provincial jail in this city after his arrest on Oct. 5 for illegal drugs and firearms charges. The mayor is the father of Kerwin Espinosa, allegedly the region’s top drug lord.

It can be recalled that Espinosa surrendered to PNP Chief Dir. Gen. Ronald dela Rosa on Aug. 2, a few hours after President Rodrigo Duterte demanded for his and Kerwin’s surrender within 24 hours or face a “shoot on sight” order.

After four days, dela Rosa kicked out Espinosa from his official residence after Kerwin failed to meet the deadline for him to surrender.

He returned to his hometown on Aug. 16 and stayed at the town hall day and night for about a week before he asked for police protection.

Driven by fear for his life, the mayor had temporarily held office at the town police station from Aug. 25 until his arrest. Kerwin was recently arrested in Abu Dhabi. Elvie Roa and Vicky Arnaiz/