The son of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr already sent surrender feelers, says the PNP chief
MANILA, Philippines – Kerwin Espinosa, son of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr, is set to return to the country and surrender, according to Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, August 4, Dela Rosa said that the younger Espinosa told his relatives that he will be coming back to the country from Malaysia.
"Magpapasundo daw sa airport pagdating. VIP 'no? Ako pa magsundo... mag surrender daw siya basta sunduin ko siya sa airport," quipped Dela Rosa, who is chief of the 160,000-strong PNP.
(He's asking me to fetch him from the airport. He's a VIP, isn't he? He's asking me to fetch him. He says he'll surrender if I pick him up at the airport.)
The older Espinosa earlier surrendered to Dela Rosa, amid allegations that he and his son are involved in the illegal drugs trade. Dela Rosa earlier said that Espinosa was part of President Rodrigo Duterte's list of alleged drug lords and drug lord protectors.
Kerwin, 35, is supposedly among the biggest illegal drug operators in the Eastern Visayas region. The mayor, however, has denied being part of his son's illegal activities.
Last Monday, August 1, Duterte called on father and son to surrender. If they did not, the President said he would issue a "shoot on sight" order against them if they fought back against law enforcers.
There are no arrest warrants for either father or son. The "shoot on sight" order, however, still stands against Kerwin, should he resist capture.
Local police in Leyte are still conducting operations against the Espinosas and their alleged henchmen. On Wednesday, August 3, 6 men were killed in a shootout with cops just outside the Espinosa home in Albuera.
High-powered firearms and pistols were also seized. Another operation early Thursday morning resulted in the seizure of even more firearms supposedly owned by the Espinosas.
Albuera locals, said Dela Rosa, are already cooperating with police to put an end to the "tyranny" in their town.
Dela Rosa also dismissed the mayor's claim that the local police chief had threatened his life. "Will you be threatened if you did nothing wrong?" said Dela Rosa.