IT looked like a scene from the horror flick Final Destination. A tarpaulin left hanging on an overpass shows the photo of six people, two of whom have been killed and whose faces were spray-painted with X. In the center is former Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama. His head is encircled in red, like a noose ready to hang him. Emblazoned beside his image is a grim warning screaming, “IKAW SUNOD.”
According to an ABS-CBN News report, the faces of those crossed out on the tarpaulin belong to the late Abuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and his son Kerwin’s slain lawyer, John Jonah Ungab, who is also Ronda, Cebu vice mayor.
The report added that the photo on the tarpaulin was that of Espinosa taking oath as a member of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) where Rama served as regional chairman.
Espinosa was killed while in detention in Leyte in November 2016 while Ungab was killed in an ambush last Feb. 19 in Cebu City.
Reports said Ungab, according to his wife, had received death threats, days before he was ambushed.
Meanwhile, obviously fearing for his life following the ambush-slay of his lawyer in Cebu City recently, self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa did not show up in his slated hearing at the Manila Regional Trial Court yesterday, not until the presiding judge demanded his presence there.
It was learned that Espinosa instead sent a handwritten note for Judge Silvino Pampilo of the Manila RTC Branch 26, explaining why he did not attend the hearing. Espinosa also said he needed to find another lawyer to represent him in the illegal drugs case he is facing in that court.
The court, however, did not allow the request of Espinosa not to show up and directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to fetch him and bring him to the court, with a warning that he will otherwise be cited in contempt.
The NBI thus fetched Espinosa and presented him before the judge before the hearing was done.
Espinosa was given three to five days by the court to look for a new lawyer.
With report from Itchie G. Cabayan