'De Lima and Kerwin met in Baguio' —In Mayor Espinosa's affidavit

MANILA - Before he was gunned down under questionable circumstances inside his cell at the Baybay City Jail, Mayor Rolando Espinosa of Albuera, Leyte had confirmed his son Kerwin was a drug lord who enjoyed the protection of several powerful people, according to a copy of his affidavit obtained by News5.

Espinosa made the affidavit at the Albuera police station where he was first detained before his transfer to Baybay.

In his sworn statement, Espinosa said he had executed the affidavit to fulfill a promise to PNP chief Ronaldo de la Rosa that he would cooperate in the drug investigation, at the time authorities were looking for Kerwin, who had flown abroad.

Kerwin was arrested two weeks ago by police in Abu Dhabi, and his repatriation to Manila was being arranged when his mayor-father was killed apparently by elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group's Region 8 office.

The CIDG team went to the mayor's cell in Baybay past 4 a.m. Saturday with a supposed mission to serve a search warrant for drugs, but it was alleged that Espinosa shot it out with them, prompting the police to kill him. That version of the incident has been disputed by some witnesses and jail guards, and is the subject of a legislative investigation set for Thursday (Nov. 10) by a committee led by Sen. Panfilo Lacson, himself an ex-PNP chief.

Lacson had described the police version as a "badly written script," pointing out why, in the first place, police seem to go through the trouble of getting a search warrant for a government facility like the Baybay jail.

In his affidavit, Espinosa admitted his son was a big-time drug lord in the Eastern Visayas, and named among Kerwin's suppliers two high-profile inmates at the national penitentiary: Peter Lim and Peter Co, with a third supplier tagged only as a "Muslim named Lovely."

Mayor Espinosa's affidavit named his son's alleged protectors as former Justice secretary now senator Leila de Lima; four police officers two Leyte local officials.

De Lima had earlier raised the theory that Espinosa may have been summarily executed because he had shown a desire to recant what he put into the affidavit that may have been foisted on him by some people.

Several other PNP officials, journalists, judges and lawyers were tagged in the late mayor's affidavit.

In De Lima's case, Mayor Espinosa said in his affidavit he witnessed a meeting in March 2016 between the then-senatorial candidate and Kerwin in Baguio City.

That meeting supposedly tackled the illegal drug trade, and that Kerwin was joined in the meeting by his wife Hazel Mago.

According to the mayor, Kerwin has an armed group that gets rid of pushers who don't remit their collection from the illicit trade.

Sources: interaksyon.com