THE lawyer of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and his son, suspected big-time drug lord Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr., was killed in an ambush in Tacloban City yesterday afternoon.
Senior Supt. Rolando Bade, Tacloban City Police Office director, said Atty. Rogelio Bato Jr., 48, was driving his pickup truck in a secluded area in Lubang, Barangay 96, Calanipawan around 2 p.m. when the incident took place.
Also killed was a 15-year-old Grade 9 student, who was seated in the front passenger seat.
“Mao na usa namo nga imbestigaron. Kung nganong naay siya’y kauban nga bata (We will also look into that. Why was he accompanied by a minor)?” said Bade.
Initial investigation revealed that the victims were on their way to a mall when a white pickup truck suddenly blocked their path. Its passengers then started shooting at the lawyer’s vehicle.
“Recovered from the crime scene were empty slugs from a .45 and those of an M16 rifle. Operatives of the Scene of the Crime Operations could not yet give details on how many shots were fired,” Bade said.
He said they have yet to determine the motive of the ambush.
“Base sa nadawat nako nga information, abogado ni siya ni Kerwin Espinosa ug sa iya amahan (Based on the information I received, Bato was the lawyer of Kerwin and his father),” Bade said.
Mayor Espinosa has surrendered to PNP Police Chief Ronald Dela Rosa and admitted that his son Kerwin is a top drug trafficker in the Visayas.
Kerwin is still in hiding.
Bato was the legal counsel of Mayor Espinosa in a 2014 murder case.
At that time, the elder Espinosa was accused of killing Restituto Soria, a driver of a state university in Leyte.
The case was dismissed after Soria’s wife withdraw her complaint.