By: Denz Laguipo
WAS Albuera Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinoza intentionally killed, or was shot dead after he put up a fight against policemen inside a sub-provincial jail this Saturday morning?
This question was immediately raised in the social media and public opinion as a huge cloud of doubts were seen on the death of controversial Mayor Espinosa.
Raul Yap, who is also facing drug-related charges like Espinosa, was shot to death in the same incident inside the Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail located in Baybay City.
The crime they supposedly separately committed was in violation of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
On top of that, Espinosa is facing illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, which is a violation of Republic Act No. 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.
Espinosa was arrested and sent to jail for illegal drugs and firearms charges on October 5.
He did not resist arrest.
But the mayor had previously told the media that he might be killed also like what happened to the Espinosa’s lawyer due to the illegal drug controversy as he claimed that he had names of politicians and high ranking Philippine National Police (PNP) officials who were protectors on his son Kerwin’s drug syndicate, therefore, earning huge amount of money.
Kerwin Espinoza was described by his father as a drug lord and is in the list of drug lords submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Kerwin was described as the number drug lord in Eastern Visayas Region.
The region is composed of Leyte, Biliran, and Samar provinces.
He is about to be deported back in the Philippines after all documents required for his deportation are clear.
The ‘press release’ of PNP Regional Director Elmer Beltejar to the media said Espinosa and Yap fired at the members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 8 headed by Chief Inspector Leo Laraga, while serving “search warrants” on them, while inside the sub-provincial jail.
Beltejar said shootout abruptly ensued after the two detainees put up a fight.
He said the warrants were served by 4:00 a.m.
He failed to explain why the CIDG served the warrants as early as 4:00 a.m. as the said job was purely CIDG’s assignment and was not coordinated to PNP Region – 8 Headquarters.
The warrant on Espinosa was in connection with the illegal possession of firearms filed on him.
The warrant for Yap was about the drug charges slapped against him.
The search warrants were issued by Branch 30 Judge Tarcelo Sabarre Jr. of the Samar Regional Trial Court.
After learning the incident, the PNP – Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) rushed to the crime precisely to gather pieces of evidence to find out what really happened.
That is to ascertain whether Espinoza and Yap killed through rubout or shootout.