CENTRAL Visayas's top police official expects suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, who was caught in Abu Dhabi Monday dawn, to reveal who else may be involved in his illegal drug deals.
Chief Superintendent Noli Taliño, director of the Police Regional Office (PRO) Central Visayas, told reporters that Kerwin may have other names of police officers and other public officials that were not divulged by his father, the detained Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.
“Malaking dagok sa illegal drug trade sa Pilipinas, especially dito sa Visayas (The arrest deals a huge blow to the illegal drug trade in the Philippines, especially here in the Visayas),” said Taliño.
An overseas worker tipped off Filipino authorities about the suspect’s presence in the Middle East.
It was only two weeks ago when the police arrested Kerwin’s father, and about two months since President Rodrigo Duterte named the mayor as an alleged drug protector and his son as a suspected drug lord.
Last August, the police also confiscated 11 kilos of shabu from the Espinosas’ ancestral home. Earlier this month, a woman who was described as the younger Espinosa’s former wife was gunned down in Cebu City.
An aggressive campaign against illegal drugs has pushed the price of shabu to P300 per sachet, instead of P100, Director Taliño told reporters.
Taliño added that the police have not monitored new personalities who may have replaced the alleged drug lords Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz and Rowen “Yawa” Secretaria, who were both killed in the last three months.
The younger Espinosa, police said, started distributing drugs in Cebu City before he transferred his operations to Eastern Visayas. However, his supplies allegedly reached Bohol Province and Camotes Islands in northern Cebu.
Commenting on Espinosa’s arrest, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he was impressed by how effectively the Duterte administration is waging its anti-illegal drug campaign.
“There might be some collateral damage. I might even be one of them. They removed my deputation, they removed my commanders, which I think is wrong,” he said.
The mayor was referring to the National Police Commission’s order that stripped him of his supervision and control over the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).
His deputation was recently restored, though.
“We have a president who is like a warrior, who gets into the drug menace head on, to the point that he’s risking his all, including his personal life, just to save this country. And it’s working,” the mayor added.
Meanwhile, at least 47 police officers from the Western, Central and Eastern Visayas regions were reportedly dismissed from the service by the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) for allegedly protecting drug pushers.
Some of these officers are reportedly from PRO Central Visayas.
Taliño, however, said he has not received any order from the IAS in Camp Crame. An official of the Regional IAS said they will check on the information, but have not received dismissal orders from their head office yet.