Leyte mayor linked to drugs now in Bato’s custody: Palace exec

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Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) operatives conduct an inventory of ingredients used in the manufacture of illegal drugs at the Henson Plastic factory warehouse in Valenzuela City on Friday. PDEA agents raided the alleged shabu laboratory and confiscated an undetermined amount of ingredients used to make shabu.(MNS photo)

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) operatives conduct an inventory of ingredients used in the manufacture of illegal drugs at the Henson Plastic factory warehouse in Valenzuela City on Friday. PDEA agents raided the alleged shabu laboratory and confiscated an undetermined amount of ingredients used to make shabu.(MNS photo)

MANILA, Aug 2 (Mabuhay) – Mayor Rolando Espinosa of Albuera, Leyte who is being linked to drug trafficking, has surrendered to police authorities, Malacañang said Tuesday.

In a statement, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said “Espinosa has surrendered and now under custody of Gen dela Rosa.” Abella was referring to Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa.

“The son, Kerwin, is still at large,” Abella added.

Espinosa’s surrender came following President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement on Monday afternoon that he will give a “shoot-on-sight order” to the police if they do not voluntarily surrender within 24 hours.

Reports say about P1.9 million worth of 237 grams of suspected shabu were recovered by authorities in a buy-bust operation last Thursday near the houses of the Espinosas.

Arrested during the operation were Espinosa’s two bodyguards and three employees.

His son Kerwin, however, remains at large.

Meanwhile, Albuera Police Chief Inspector Jove Espinido said joint forces of the Albuera PNP, the Regional Public Safety Battalion, and the Leyte Provincial Police Office raided both the houses of Espinosa and his son Roland and found these empty.

In the house of the mayor, authorities only found two big pots — one containing hot rice and the other, chicken adobo, also still hot. Police said these could indicate that people were still in the area moments before authorities arrived.

Espinido believes there could still be persons remaining within the compound of the Espinosas.

However, he said he firmly trusts his men that there was no leak on information about the police raid on the houses of the Espinosas.

Meanwhile, the house of the younger Espinosa, estimated to be worth P17-million, was left dark since the arrest of his people last week. (MNS)

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