PNP chief: 'Narco mayor' tags Peter Co as son's drug supplier

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Tuesday presented Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. to the media and announced that the latter admitted to his son's involvement in the illegal drug trade.

The mayor even confessed that his son's alleged supplier is detained drug lord Peter Co.

RELATED: Duterte threatens top 'drug lords': You will die

Co was one of the drug lords who President Rodrigo Duterte said continued to direct illegal drug operations from behind bars. Duterte said Co is a drug triad member operating in Luzon and Metro Manila.

He had earlier warned Co that he would die if he attempts to escape from prison.

Espinosa Sr. voluntarily surrendered to Dela Rosa at 4 a.m. on Tuesday after the president issued a shoot on sight order against him and his son, Kerwin Espinosa, on the grounds of drug trafficking and coddling a drug lord.

Dela Rosa said they cannot arrest the elder Espinosa since they do not have a warrant of arrest but he said the mayor pledged to support the Duterte administration's anti-drug campaign. Espinosa Sr. also said he is “100 percent willing” to cooperate with the government’s initiatives and would fight drugs in his municipality.

He said he does not know whether Kerwin is in the country or abroad as he cannot be contacted.

“Ang kanya naman is ina-admit yung kanyang anak is really into drug dealing... Hindi niya ma-control yung kanyang anak that’s per his statement,” Dela Rosa said in a televised press briefing.

The PNP chief said Espinosa surrendered for his safety which is why he asked for PNP custody. The mayor said he got scared by Duterte’s “shoot on sight order” that is why he voluntarily surrendered himself.  He would be turned over to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

“Dapat lang matakot ako sa shoot on sight dahil gusto ko pa mabuhay,” Espinosa Sr. said. He added that he is willing to take a drug test to clear his name.

He swore that he would stand by all of his statements.

“Patayin ako ni general Dela Rosa pag nag-backout ako,” Espinosa Sr. said.

“He promised to me that, given the chance to go back and govern in his municipality zero tolerance against drug,” Dela Rosa said.

Bato to Kerwin: Order of shoot on sight still up

Dela Rosa also urged Kerwin to surrender as Duterte’s order of shoot on sight is still active.

“Kung nakikinig ka, you should follow your father kung hindi ka mag-surrender mamamatay ka talaga dahil your life really is in danger,” Dela Rosa said. “You better surrender or die,” he stressed.

Dela Rosa said that if Kerwin resists arrest he would get killed as the PNP would presume he’s armed and dangerous.

“Simple lang… kapag siya'y lumaban may armas talagang mamatay siya. Huwag siya lumaban para ‘di siya mamatay,” the PNP chief said.

RELATED: Duterte gives alleged 'narco mayor' 24 hours to surrender Palace: Leyte town mayor accused of drug links has surrendered

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