SUSPECTED drug lord Kerwin Espinosa is “determined” to identify the government officials allegedly involved in drug trafficking when he testifies at the Senate investigation into the death of his father, who kept a blue book containing names of individuals who coddled them.
The probe, to be jointly conducted on Wednesday by the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson and the Committee on Justice and Human Rights by Sen. Richard Gordon, will be held at the Senators Recto and Laurel conference rooms.
Sen. Manny Pacquiao, who was able to talk to Espinosa, said that the latter is willing to face the inquiry. “Ready siya. Willing siya at ang sabi n’ya sa akin dahil pinatay nila ang tatay ko kaya sasabihin ko talaga ang mga kasabwat at ang mga tumanggap.”
Kerwin’s father, Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. was killed last Nov. 5 in an alleged shootout with Criminal Investigation Detection Group (CIDG) operatives in Eastern Visayas inside his cell at the Baybay, Leyte subprovincial jail. The CIDG men claimed that they were about to serve him a search warrant for firearm and illegal drugs when he opened fire at them.
Asked whether Kerwin gave many revelations, Pacquiao said:”Marami siya sinabi sa akin at talagang nakakagulat. Hindi ko na siguro babanggitin mga sinasabi n’ya. Magkakaroon naman siya ng affidavit.”
Pressed whether the younger Espinosa admitted that he is a drug lord, Pacquiao said: “Hindi ko narinig sa kanya na drug lord siya. Pero inamin nya na business nila ay drugs.”
Did he identify elected government officials in the drug trade? Pacquiao said: “Hintayin natin ang affidavit n’ya kasi ayon ‘yun sa kanya. Iyung mga pangalan hindi ko p’wedeng banggitin.”
Asked whether Kerwin’s revelations are credible, the senator said: “Sa tingin ko kapani-paniwala naman kasi detailed ang kanyang ipinahayag.”
Lacson said that he and Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa earlier agreed to conduct the next public hearing on the death of the Albuera, Leyte mayor.
But the conference room at the Senate is too small to accommodate the other senators as well as the resource persons invited to the probe.
Lacson said that he already received Kerwin’s affidavit through email. “Binabasa ko pa. Pinadalhan ako ng draft.” He said that Kerwin’s affidavit included “new” names. “Siyempre mga government officials. Mostly mga police officials.”