SELF-CONFESSED drug lord Rolan "Kerwin" Espinosa entered a not guilty plea to drug trading charge during his arraignment Friday before Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC).
Espinosa was charged with violating Article II, Section 5 (sale, trading, and administration) of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act after a police raid in his house on July 28 last year that yielded several grams of shabu.
Manila RTC branch 26 Judge Silvino Pampilo Jr. has set the pre-trial on November 10.
The number of witnesses that will be summoned and the evidence that will be presented by both prosecution and the defense panel will be discussed during the pre-trial.
In defense, Espinosa told the court that he could not be charged as he was out of the country when his family's compound in Sitio Tinago in Leyte was raided.
Pampilo has granted the request of Espinosa for a speedy trial and scheduled weekly hearings to resolve the case by June next year.
Aside from the drug-related cases filed against Espinosa, he is also charged before the Department of Justice in relation to the drug trading in the Visayas involving Cebu-based alleged drug lord Peter Lim. (SunStar Philippines)