Freeman Region

For “links” to drugs: 15 cops in Eastern Visayas sacked from service

Miriam Garcia Desacada - The Freeman

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines — At least 15 policemen from various units in Eastern Visayas were immediately dismissed from service by Chief Superitendent Elmer Beltejar, director of Police Regional Office-8, due to alleged links to the illegal drug trade.

Beltejar said these policemen were among those listed in the sworn statement of Albuera, Leyte town Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., as the protectors or have connections with his son, drug lord Kerwin Espinosa. Included in the list was a senator, congressmen and police officials.

Aside from the 15 police officers, Beltejar earlier relieved and placed under floating status, Senior Superintendent Pio Manito, chief of the PRO-8 Logistics Division.

Beltejar said he was not contented of the performance of Manito, who also asked for a re-assignment to a post far from any link to the illegal drug campaign of the police, especially after his brother was arrested for drugs earlier.

Espinosa’s affidavit is now in the hands of the PRO-8 Intelligence Division for confirmatory process and evidence gathering before it will be submitted to the Department of Justice, said Beltejar.

“We’re still gathering some link diagram na pwede magamit natin for filing of criminal charges dito sa mga taong mentioned by Mayor Espinosa,” Beltejar said as he also confirmed that there are top government officials in Leyte named by the mayor as among the cohorts in the drug trade of his son Kerwin he said.

As this developed, the mayor who is now under protective custody by the Albuera Police due to reported threats to his live, reiterated his call for his son Kerwin to immediately surrender. He, however, insisted he was not involved in any way to his son’s illegal activities.

Regional State Prosecutor Erwin Maraya said the prosecution is now also interested to find out the contents of the Espinosa affidavit, considering that the mayor has wanted to avail himself of the witness protection program.

“If Mayor Espinosa’s statement is vital for the justice of everyone he can avail himself of the government’s witness protection and benefit program,” Maraya added. (FREEMAN)




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