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PNP clears Espina of links to Espinosa

Philippine National Police officials have ruled out any involvement of their former Officer-in-Charge now retired General Leonardo A. Espina in the illegal drug activities of slain Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and his son Kerwin and concluded that the former top cop’s name was merely used by his brother-in-law in order to ingratiate himself with the moneyed Espinosas.

The investigation was conducted by teams sent by PNP Deputy Chief for Operations Director Benjamin B. Magalong and Police Regional Office 8 director Chief Superintendent Elmer C. Beltejar upon the request of Espina himself.  The investigators’ common finding is that Espina’s brother-in-law Victor L. Espina Jr. literally used the former top cop’s name to seek personal favors from the Espinosas.

Victor is the brother of the retired general’s wife whose maiden name is Maridee Espina. The retired Espina, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class 1981 hails from Batangas while Maridee’s family is from the Visayas.

In a statement sent to the Journal Group, the retired top cop said that last September, “I was informed that I was included in the list relayed by Mayor Espinosa as one of those who protected this Kerwin Espinosa. These are persons I do not personally know.”

“Being innocent and having no clue, my instinctive response was to immediately see the Deputy PNP Chief for Operations, Gen. Magalong. I inquired about this matter and requested him to fully investigate this incident in coordination with Gen. Beltejar, the Police Regional Director of PRO8.