Albuera’s top police officer, Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido and PO3 Hydie Yutrago were accused by three aides of Kerwin Espinosa of forcing them to sign a fabricated affidavit, which showed policemen who were linked to the illegal drug operations of Kerwin Espinosa in Eastern Visayas.
Kerwin is an alleged drug lord in Region VIII, who just got back to the country today, November 18, after being caught in Abu Dhabi. His father is Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., who was recently slain inside his cell after he allegedly fought with the police delivering a search warrant.
Kerwin’s “trusted men”—Galo Bobares, Max Miro, and Brian Zalvidar—filed new affidavits indicating that the previous statements were forced unto them.
Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez’s lawyers, Adelito Solibaga Jr., was the one who took the new statements of the three aides. These new affidavits were dated November 10, five days after Kerwin’s father was slain.
Gomez was previously linked by the late Mayor Espinosa to Kerwin’s son, but this claim was denied by the Ormoc City Mayor.
Bombares was able to identify three policemen who allegedly received allowances from Kerwin. Two of them, identified as Manalo and Vañao, are members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group. Another one, Jabines, was the former chief of the Albuera Police.
Miro was able to identify six policemen who were allegedly involved in Kerwin’s illegal drug trade after he surrendered to Espenido: SPO1 Erwin Manalo, PO2 Renato Miketpitket, PO2 Wenceslao Lomaquin, Senior Insp. Eufracio Javines, Chief Insp. Jesus Son, and Senior Insp. Bernie Magamay.
Zaldivar, on the other hand, only identified people who were part of the drug group since he claimed that he did not know who were receiving money from Kerwin.
The claim of Kerwin’s three aides were later denied by Espenido, saying that these three voluntarily approached him.
“They must remember that they voluntarily approached me and manifested their intent to execute those affidavits,” he said.
Espenido is convinced that Gomez is responsible for the three witnesses’ sudden claim that they were forced to sign fabricated affidavits.
“I knew it. I wonder why they only did it now.”