Albuera town mayor Rolando Espinosa arrested

CEBU CITY (Updated) -- Police arrested Albuera, Leyte, Mayor Rolando Espinosa on Wednesday morning for alleged possession of illegal drugs and illegal possession of firearms.

The Albuera police nabbed the mayor after serving him two warrants of arrest issued by a local court.

Mayor Espinosa is the father of Kerwin Espinosa, a suspected drug lord operating in Eastern Visayas. He surrendered to Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa on August 2 few hours after President Rodrigo Duterte issued a “shoot on sight” against him and his son. He was released though, as there was no standing warrant of arrest against him that time.

But the police recently filed charges against him, after they seized in August at least 11 kilos of shabu worth around P88 million from an ancestral house owned by the mayor in Sitio Tinago II, Barangay Binulho, in Albuera.

Senior Superintendent Jovie Espinido, Albuera’s police chief, said the police entered the ancestral house's premises on Wednesday, October 5, after getting a search warrant from Judge Carlos Arguelles of the Leyte Regional Trial Court Branch 14.

Only the caretakers were present during the search, and the police said they found shabu placed in 11 plastic bags inside a cabinet under the kitchen sink.

Also seized Wednesday were components used in making improvised explosives, as well as seven new camouflage uniforms bearing patches of the PNP, said Espinido.

Mayor Espinosa, since August 5, had been holding office at the Albuera police station after seeking a protective custody from the PNP.

He asked for police protection after unidentified gunmen shot dead his lawyer, Rogelio Bato Jr., and a 17-year-old student on August 23 in Tacloban City. [READ: Albuera town mayor's lawyer, minor shot dead]

He also executed earlier an affidavit disclosing names of government officials protecting the illegal drug trade in Eastern Visayas. (Sunnex)

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