‘Bato’ assures Kerwin’s safety.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa assured the safety of suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa while under their custody.
This was Dela Rosa’s reaction after controversial senator Leila de Lima expressed doubt about the wellbeing of Espinosa.
“We are doing our best to secure Kerwin. He will die over our dead bodies,” said Dela Rosa.
In a statement Sunday, De Lima said she foresees a bloody ending not only on Espinosa’s life but on most if not all alleged drug dealers who would give in to the protection of the police in exchange for crucial information that would pin down supposed drug lords.
“Sooner or later, this government is going to make sure you end up like your father. I make the same prediction for Jaybee Sebastian,” said De Lima.
Espinosa’s father and former Albuera town mayor Rolando Espinosa, Sr. was gunned down inside his prison cell in Leyte after allegedly shooting it out with authorities who were on their way to serving a search warrant early this month.
Sebastian meanwhile was seriously injured after being stabbed in a riot inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) last September.
Police investigation eventually revealed the supposed riot was actually an attempt to silence Sebastian and other high-profile inmates involved in drugs.
“Only a very small portion of the whole PNP, 160,000 of us, wants him dead,” said Dela Rosa.
In an interview, Dela Rosa meanwhile hinted that Kerwin will soon drop a bomb when he appears before the Senate inquiry on Wednesday.
“Let us just wait for the hearing. I don’t want to preempt. The senators might say that I am a killjoy for revealing the bomb, if it is indeed a bomb,” said Dela Rosa. “But Kerwin is sure that he supported several politicians on many occasions during the campaign. There were a lot of time that he was asked to give money.”
Meantime in a separate radio interview, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, who visited Kerwin after the latter arrived in Manila, said the young Espinosa confided “shocking” revelations to him about the drug trade.
“I won’t mention what he said. Anyway it would be in his affidavit. Maybe you can just refer to his affidavit,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao said Kerwin did not admit to being a drug lord “but he admitted that the family was dealing in drugs.”
Kerwin is ready to reveal everything he knows about the drug trade, Pacquiao said.
Senator Richard Gordon said it is up to de Lima if she still wants to take part in Wednesday’s committee hearing.
“She’s still a senator. It’s a personal decision on her part (but) it’s dangerous ground. Very dangerous ground on her part if she does,” Gordon said.
De Lima had chaired the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights panel until she was ousted by her colleagues after holding a few hearings on the spate of extrajudicial killings that followed the Duterte administration’s intensive war on drugs.
Gordon replaced her as committee chairman. (AARON RECUENCO)