ALBUERA, Leyte –- Beleaguered town Mayor Rolando Espinosa, Sr. once again begged his alleged drug lord son, Kerwin to surrender to the police.
In a press conference late Tuesday afternoon at the town’s police station where he temporarily holds office since last week, the emotional mayor assured his son that he will be safe after yielding to authorities.
The mayor tearfully pleaded to his son and friends to surrender, assuring them to be safe in the hands of Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido, the town’s chief of police.
“I call for my son Kerwin Espinosa to surrender. Look at your father. You know very well that I am innocent of all these accusations. I am the one suffering now for what happened,” the elder Espinosa said.
He also named four personalities whom he tagged as his son’s friends – Max Miro, Galo Bobares, Tonipet Saldivar and Ferdinand Rondina.
He assured the younger Espinosa and his friends that “as mayor of Albuera, I call all of you to surrender to Espenido and no harm will be done to you” he asserted.
The mayor sought police custody on Aug. 27 after receiving death threats.
He applied for Witness Protection Program (WPP) after revealing in an affidavit the names of government officials allegedly protecting his son’s illicit activity.
He disclosed that included in the list are policemen, government officials, members of House of Representatives and a senator. He declined, however, to mention specific names.
The father and son were formerly identified by President Rodrigo Duterte as behind the illegal drug operations in the Visayas area.
The mayor’s cooperation of revealing the persons protecting and receiving drug money is a piece of indulgence, despite putting the mayor’s life in tough situation, according to Espenido.
In return, the government may consider possibilities for him to qualify in WPP.
“He is now working as a mayor. Ours is only for protective custody by securing him according to his request. It’s very welcome that he is trying to help the government in identifying the men in uniform and government officials who enjoyed drug money,” Espenido said.
To recall, Espinosa surrendered to Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa on Aug. 2, few hours after Pres. Duterte demanded for his surrender and Kerwin within 24 hours or face a “shoot on sight.” The son remained at large.
After four days, Dela Rosa kicked out Espinosa from his official residence after the son failed to meet the deadline for him to surrender.
The mayor was admitted in a hospital in Cebu after he left Camp Crame on Aug. 6.
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 and moved to the police station last week. Elvie Roman Roa/PNA/northboundasia.com