Mayor Rolando Espinosa: Killed in a suspicious jail “shootout”

More Questions Remained Unanswered

Beltejar also wondered about the missing hard drive that was supposed to have recorded the raid and shootout via the close-circuit camera.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, chair of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, also has questions about the whole conduct of the raid. “I can’t understand for the life of me how a prisoner inside a prison cell could even think of fighting back at police officers serving a warrant for his arrest,” the senator said.

He also doubted why CIDG-8, instead of a court sheriff, would serve the warrant “since (Espinosa) was detained anyway.” Or, why the need for CIDG operatives to serve the warrant at the jail “when they could simply coordinate with the [jail] warden.”

Lacson also observed how the inmate sharing Espinosa’s cell was also shot and killed, so that “no witness could testify.”

Consequently, Lacson said he will try to convince Senator Richard Gordon to revive the Senate probe on drug-related extrajudicial killings. His “primary interest,” in wanting to revive the investigation “is the possible cover up for bigger personalities as motive.”

Meanwhile, Leyte Provincial administrator Edgardo Cordeño said the CIDG-8 failed to coordinate with Capitol which operates the facility in Barangay Hipusngo, a kilometer away from the city proper.


Cordeno also wondered how the CIDG raiding team recovered illegal drugs from the cell of Espinosa even after Cordeno’s office had recently done a thorough search of all of the eight cells but did not find any illegal drugs.

Incidentally, some observers noted how the head of the CIDG-8 is Supt. Marvin Marcos. His aunt, Lalaine Jimenea, was among individuals implicated by Mayor Espinosa in his son’s drug operation.

Jimenea is publisher of a local daily in Ormoc and was among the seven individuals charged for allegedly benefiting from Kerwin’s payola dole out. She was charged at the Regional State Prosecutor’s office in Leyte.

However, she has denied the charges derived from Espinosa’s affidavit executed in exchange for police protection.

Espinosa had revealed 226 names in his affidavit, including 19 politicians, 38 policemen, four people from the judiciary, 7 individuals from CIDG, one even from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, 3 people from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, one from the Philippine Army and three media people.

Malacanang Response

Malacanang, however, reserved its reaction on the incident while investigations are on-going.

“Right now, it’s really under investigation so wala po tayong actual na komentaryo patungkol diyan (we don’t have any actual comment on it yet),” Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella disclosed in an interview with DZRB radio, a state-run radio station.

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