EASTERN Visayas drug trader Kerwin Espinosa has been put under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the Department of Justice (DOJ), according to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.

In a news conference Thursday, Aguirre said Espinosa was placed under the DOJ's supervision before Christmas, days after his custody was turned over from the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (PNP-AIDG) to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

When asked if Espinosa's inclusion to the program is provisional, Aguirre said, "I think it's full coverage. I'm sure there is no obstacle to put him under permanent protection of the DOJ."

Aguirre said the prosecution will soon ask for the dropping of the case filed against Espinosa, being now a state witness against the proliferation of illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison and against Senator Leila De Lima.

"The prosecution will ask for the dismissal, dropping [of charges against] Kerwin as one of the accused," Aguirre said.

Espinosa is facing criminal complaints along with seven others, including a Cebu town mayor and three media men allegedly involved in his drug syndicate in a court in Leyte.

Kerwin, the son of the slain Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa was arrested on October 17 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Sunnex)