6 alleged aides of 'narco mayor' killed in police encounter


MANILA, Philippines — Authorities confirmed that six men who are allegedly aides of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and his son Rolan "Kerwin" Espinosa were killed in a shootout with the police on Wednesday morning.

Leyte Police Provincial Office director Senior Superintendent Franco Simborio said he is still verifying the identities of the six fatalities.

A radio report, however, said that among the slain men are two of Kerwin's bodyguards.

The shootout occurred as police were patrolling the house of Espinosa in Sitio Tinagi, Barangay Benulho, Albuera, Leyte around 5 a.m. The authorities are still investigating the incident.

"Malaki po 'yung area (pinangyarihan ng engkuwentro)… Sa ngayon, ang iniimbestigahan natin 'yung nangyari dito (Albuera, Leyte)…Pina-process po ng Crime Lab 'yung pinangyarihan,"Simborio said over radio dzBB.

The Leyte provincial chief said 14 high-powered firearms and five caliber .45 handguns were recovered at the house of the town mayor.

The police encounter occurred a day after Espinosa Sr. voluntarily surrendered to the PNP and admitted his son Kerwin was involved in drug dealing.

RELATED: Leyte mayor linked to drugs surrenders

On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte issued a "shoot on sight" order against the Espinosas if they fail to surrender within a day. He accused them of alleged drug trafficking and coddling of drug lords. The 24-deadline lapsed and Kerwin was still at large.

PNP chief Director General Ronald Bato dela Rosa said the shoot on sight order against Kerwin is still active. — Rosette Adel

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