STATE prosecutors cleared lawyer Jonnah John Ungab of allegations that he was coddling suspected drug lord Roland “Kerwin” Espinosa.
The Office of the Assistant Prosecutor in Baybay City, Leyte dismissed for lack of evidence and jurisdiction the complaints for violation of the Revised Penal Code, Code of Conduct and Ethical standards for Public Officials and Employees, and the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 against Ungab.
“After a careful study of the records of this case, this office finds the absence of jurisdiction and substantial evidence which would support to indict the respondent of the offenses in court,” read the resolution penned by Prosecutor Michelle Marie Polo-Tesorero.
The case stemmed from the complaint filed by Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido, Albuera, Leyte police station chief, against Ungab before the Department of Justice 8.
Espenido accused Ungab, who is also the vice mayor of Ronda, Cebu, of being a drug protector of Kerwin, the suspected top drug personality in Eastern Visayas.
Replying to charges, Ungab argued that his relationship with Kerwin was “purely professional and legal.”
Ungab said he handled Kerwin’s case when the latter appealed his conviction for illegal drugs in 2008. The trial court’s decision was later reversed and Kerwin was acquitted in 2009.
Ungab also handled Kerwin’s petition for nullity of marriage in 2015.
He also served as the legal consultant when Kerwin’s father, the late Rolando Espinosa Sr. filed for a certificate of candidacy for mayor of Albuera.
In the resolution, Prosecutor Tesorero said Ungab could not be held liable just because he served as the Espinosas’ lawyer and consultant at the same time.
“For the purpose of filing an information in court, probable cause refers to facts and circumstances diffident to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and that the respondents probably committed it,” the resolution read.