AGENTS of the Police Regional Office 8 yesterday raided the ancestral house of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and confiscated around 11 kilograms of suspected shabu valued at P88 million and components being used to manufacture improvised explosive devices, PRO8 director Chief Superintendent Wilben M. Mayor said.
Members of the Leyte Police Provincial Office, the Regional Public Safety Battalion 8 and the Albuera Municipal Police Station headed by Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido stormed the residence of the beleaguered official in Sition Tinago II, Barangay Benolho in Albuera 6:20 a.m. yesterday on the strength of a search warrant for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The Eastern Visayas police commander said that the raiders found 11 big packs containing the suspected “poor man’s cocaine,” IED ingredients and components and one dozen set of camouflage uniforms during the raid.
The suspected shabu were found in the house’s kitchen cabinets while the huge volume of ammonium nitrate, blasting caps, black powder and firing wires were discovered in other parts of the residence.
According to Espenido, they managed to secure from a local court the search warrant for violation of RA 9165 against Espinosa after receiving reliable information that a big amount of shabu was being stored in the compound. The official personally picked by Gen. de la Rosa to lead the crackdown on drugs in the small Leyte town said they got the information from Espinosa’s own men who were arrested in previous police operations
Espenido said they are monitoring other houses of the mayor in Albuera amid information that they are also being used to stockpile drugs and illegal weapons.
So far, PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Dionardo B. Carlos said that charges for violation of Section 5 (Trading of Illegal Drugs) and RAs 10591 and 9516 or illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives have been filed against Espinosa and his son Rolan alias Kerwin before the Office of Provincial Prosecutor Ma. Arlene Cordovez last August 4. Yesterday’s raid means more charges will be filed against the mayor.