A VISIBLY irked Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. de la Rosa yesterday gave wanted drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa until yesterday to surrender or he would order the suspect’s family led by his father, Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., to leave the official residence of the top cop called “White House” in Camp Crame.
The top cop said he will boot the mayor, his wife and their kids out of the “White House” in the event Kerwin fails to beat his ultimatum yesterday. The young Espinosa fled the country for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last June 21 on board a Cebu Pacific flight reportedly out of fear he would be neutralized by the police.
“Hanggang ngayon gabi. Kung walang mangyari, then tomorrow morning I will tell them to vacate and ship themselves out,” Gen. de la Rosa told the Journal Group. Besides, the top PNP official said he cannot take anymore the cigarette odor in a room reserved for the PNP chief’s son.
“Mabaho na sa amoy ng sigarilyo yung kuwarto ng anak ko. Magrereklamo tiyak yun pagdating niya galing Davao,” he said while admitting that guards cannot watch over the Espinosas inside their room round-the-clock and ask them to stop smoking.
The PNP chief allowed Mayor Espinosa, his partner and daughter to stay at the “White House” since Tuesday, the day he beat President Duterte’s 24-hour ultimatum for him and his son to yield to the police.
He said that for security reasons, he allowed the Espinosa family to stay in his official residence since it would be more expensive to secure them if they were staying in a hotel.
On Thursday, Gen. de la Rosa said Kerwin had sent word he will surrender to him after returning to Manila.
Although the PNP chief did not give any details, he said that the 36-year-old Espinosa sent surrender feelers to his family after learning of the latest development in their hometown in Albuera, Leyte where six of their heavily-armed men were killed in a gunbattle with the local police last Wednesday.
According to Mayor Espinosa, he had received a phone call from a sibling informing him that Kerwin will be returning back to Manila and will turn himself in to the police.
The PNP chief said he will personally pick up Kerwin at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and bring him to the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group headquarters to undergo questioning and submit his formal statement.
Looking for Kerwin
The Bureau of Immigration said it is coordinating with foreign counterparts to determine the whereabouts of suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.
Antonette Mangrobang, BI spokesperson, said Espinosa left for Malaysia days before President Rodrigo Duterte assumed power.
“We are coordinating with our international immigration counterparts to ascertain or confirm also the whereabouts of this Rolan (Kerwin) Eslabon Espinosa,” she said.
Mangrobang admitted that it would have been easier for them to monitor Espinosa’s whereabouts had law enforcement agencies tipped them off that the latter was a person of interest.
Espinosa reportedly took a flight bound for Kuala Lumpur on June 21 and has not returned to the country since.
The spokesperson said it is also possible for Espinosa to take the southern backdoor to enter the country to avoid detection by authorities.
Before his Malaysia trip, BI records show he has been traveling to other Asian cities since January 2006.
He visited Singapore (December 2013), Hong Kong (March 2014) and Bangkok (May 2015.)
With Lee Ann L. Pattugalan