Headlines Skinning Left, pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
Headlines ( Leaderboard Top ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa pleads not guilty in drug raps

Self-confessed drug lord, Rolan "Kerwin" Espinosa hit the police for "making up scenarios" to pin him down in his illegal drug trading case at the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 26. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — Self-confessed drug distributor Kerwin Espinosa entered a "not guilty" plea before the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch in an illegal drug trading case.

Espinosa arrived at the lobby of Manila RTC Branch Presiding Judge Silvino Pampilo Jr. on Friday morning with his lawyer, Lailani Villarino.

Despite having admitted to being a "drug lord," Espinosa, in an interview with reporters, said he was not involved in the illicit operations in the case.

The case stemmed from the police's buy-bust operation in Espinosa's house at Sitio Tinago, Brgy. Binolho, Albuera Leyte.

Seized from the operation was 219.28 gram of metamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, sold by one of Espinosa's men, Jose Antepuesto, to a police posing as buyer.

But Espinosa, in a report by News5Aksyon, said in Filipino: "I was not in the Philippines when that (operation) happened. That is not under the control of my people."

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

"I am really not at fault, but this was the police's doing. They are also planting evidence, making up scenarios to beef up their accomplishments," Espinosa also said.

Immigration records show that Espinosa left the country on June 21. Five months later, on November 18, he arrived in Manila and was escorted immediately for detention at the police headquarters in Quezon City.

By the time he arrived, his father, Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa was already killed by the police in a bloody "firefight" inside the Baybay City sub-provincial jail. The NBI, however, called the operation as a police rub-out.

The two Espinosas were among the first publicly accused by President Rodrigo Duterte as drug lords. The chief executive issued a "shoot on sight" order against the younger Espinosa.

Kerwin, however, was able to secure government's protection in agreeing to become a state witness in the drug trading case of detained Sen. Leila de Lima, one of Duterte's staunchest critics.

Manila RTC Judge Pampilo said that he aiming to decide on Espinosa's case by June or July next year. He added that Espinosa's trial has been earmarked as a priority case for security reasons.

Espinosa is also facing possession of illegal firearms and explosives before Manila RTC branch 20. He is currently detained at the NBI.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
  • Follow Us:
Healines Skinning Right, pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1