MANILA — Presidential Communication Office (PCO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Sunday said the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Roland Espinosa is a big loss to the government’s intensified campaign against illegal drugs.
”For me, the death of the Mayor Espinosa is a big loss to the government,” Andanar said in an interview with state-run Radyo ng Bayan.
”I’m puzzled and at the same time, I am also sad that this happened because Mayor Espinosa is a big help to investigation of our government to pin down those involved in illegal drugs,” he added.
Last Saturday, Espinosa and drug suspect Raul Yap were killed in a shootout inside the Baybay City Provincial Jail by the Operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
The CIDG Region 8 operatives were reportedly serving search warrants for violation of Republic Act No. 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act when the Espinosa and Yap allegedly fired at the cops that led to a shootout.
Espinosa is one of the local officials named in the drug list of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Last August, Espinosa surrendered to the Philippine National Police (PNP), claiming he knew some 30 lawmakers and police commanders who are involved in illegal drug trades.
”Mayor Espinosa is an asset to the government’s investigation. There are involved in the illegal drug trades especially in the upper echelons of the drug ring,” Andanar said.
Andanar said PNP Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa and Justice Secretary Vitallano Aguirre, being the alter egos of President Duterte, are already looking into the killing of Espinosa and Yap.
”Let’s way for the results of the investigation so that once we come out with comment, it will be complete,” Andanar said.
Meanwhile, Andanar refused to comment on the statement of Senator Panfilo Lacson who said Espinosa killing is a clear case of extrajudicial killing.
Lacson, a former PNP chief, is also seeking resumption of the Senate probe on the extrajudicial killings.
”The senator has an unfathomable wisdom especially in police matter, being a chief PNP during his time. We respect Senator Lacson’s opinion and we will also be guided by Senator Lacson’s wisdom,” Andanar said.
Anandar said the Palace will respect whatever the Senate and the House of Representatives would do on Espinosa’s slay. Jelly Musico/PNA-northboundasia.com