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  • Written by Alfred Dalizon, Efren Montano
  • Published in Top Stories
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Featured Kerwin Espinosa Kerwin Espinosa

SUSPECTED drug lord Kerwin Espinosa has named several elected government officials and police officers in an affidavit he is set to bring to the Senate inquiry into the killing of his father, Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.

“Si Kerwin inimbitahan na ng Senate inquiry on November 23. Doon malalaman natin kung anong sasabihin nya,” Kerwin’s lawyer Atty. Leilani Villarino told a radio interview yesterday.

Villarino told a radio interview that an audio and video camera is recording her client’s formal statements to ensure transparency. The taking of the affidavit is yet to formally end but Journal Group sources said that Kerwin has named a number of elected government and police officials as among those allegedly protecting his illicit drug trade.

The video-recorded affidavit contains a narration of Kerwin’s knowledge on illicit drugs and how he started operating a drug business in Leyte up to other parts of Visayas region until the day he fled the country.

“Baka today matatapos po yan kasi ang haba. Tapos, this afternoon, yun naman yung validation doon sa dalawang affidavit na in-execute ng daddy niya. Kahapon, mayroon kaming initial na tinitingnan na affidavit. May mga sinasabi nga na yung iba doon walang kinalaman o di kasali,” Atty. Villarino said.

The lawyer said she and her fellow lawyer were with Kerwin during the entire process which she described as ‘well-documented’ to prove that the suspect was not coerced or pressured into giving his affidavit.
“Hindi siya under duress nung kinuha affidavit niya kaya maganda yung idea nung AIDG [Anti-Illegal Drugs Group] na naka video lahat yun,” she said.
The young Espinosa returned to the country from Abu Dhabi by a team of police officials led by PNP-AIDG director, Senior Superintendent  Albert Ignatius D. Ferro on Friday and was immediately whisked to the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame by officers led by PNP chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. de la Rosa.
Kerwin had told newsmen that he feels safe with his police escorts and no longer fears for his life since his father was killed right inside his cell in Baybay, Leyte by agents of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in a reported gunbattle.
“Kerwin is willing to execute the affidavit with or without the Witness Protection Program. We believe na kaya naman siyang ma-protektahan,” she said. “Kung ma-qualify siya sa WPP, mas magaling po.”
Earlier, justice chief Vitaliano Aguirre told reporters in his briefing in Malacanang that the young Espinosa wants to be placed under the Witness Protection Program.
“He could qualify for WPP because he appears to be not the most guilty (in the drug trafficking crime). When there’s someone else from the government, then that person could be the most guilty,” Aguirre said, adding that Kerwin must first execute an affidavit before he can be admitted to the WPP.
He said that while the affidavit executed by Kerwin’s father lost its probative value, he could corroborate it through his own affidavit.   
Aguirre also said that the government needs to be extra careful in securing Espinosa after the mayor’s death and his family also needs to be secured.