ALBUERA, Leyte Mayor Rolando “Daddy Onik” Espinosa Sr. was arrested yesterday morning for cases of illegal possession of dangerous drugs and illegal possession of firearms.
Leyte Provincial Police Office Director Franco Simborio went to the Albuera Police Station and served the warrant of arrest, which Baybay City Regional Trial Court Branch 14 Judge Carlos Arguilles had issued.
The mayor was in the protective custody of the police station, after receiving threats on his life.
Espinosa, the father of alleged drug lord Kerwin, wore an orange detainee’s shirt when he was escorted outside the police station. The official did not issue any statement to the media.
Aside from the criminal cases, the mayor was also charged with administrative complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman.
The court also issued an arrest warrant for the same offenses against Kerwin, who is still in hiding.
The cases were filed against the Espinosas after joint teams of the police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency seized materials for bomb-making and 11 kilograms of shabu worth P88 million in a raid in their ancestral home in Sitio Tinago Dos, Barangay Benolho last Aug. 10.
The drugs, contained in plastic bags, were found in the house’s kitchen cabinets. The authorities also found ammonium nitrate, blasting caps, firing wires and black powder.
Espinosa had surrendered to Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa, after President Rodrigo Duterte named him and Kerwin as major drug players in Eastern Visayas.
During his stay in Camp Crame, six of his alleged men died in a shootout with the police outside the official’s residence in Albuera.
Last week, Kerwin’s alleged underlings persuaded their boss to surrender and not wait for an arrest warrant to be issued against him.
Albuera Police Station Chief Jovie Espenido said he will not stop searching for Kerwin.
Camp Crame recently relieved Senior Supt. Jose Macanas as the director of Cebu Provincial Police Office, after he was named by Espinosa as one of the officers who allegedly accepting payola from Kerwin.
Macanas, whom Senior Supt. Eric Noble replaced, denied the allegations in a press statement, describing the mayor’s statement as “a brazen and outright lie.”