With Mayor Espinosa eyed as target
ALBUERA, Leyte- Anticipating of a possible attack, members of the Regional Public Safety Battalion and the Leyte Provincial Public Safety Company were deployed to this town on Thursday (Sept1). The deployment of these forces was triggered on the revelations of embattled town Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. of high ranking police officers who were on his payroll. Espinosa, tagged by President Rodrigo Duterte as drug protector with his son Kerwin as the region’s top drug lord, signed an affidavit detailing his involvement on the illegal drug activity naming top police officials, a former Justice Secretary and several local officials as their alleged protectors.
Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido, local police chief, said that while they have not received any information of possible attack at their police station, they are not taking any chances.
“We received no intelligence report that there will be an attack in our police station but we don’t want to discount the possibilities.So it’s important that we are prepared to respond,” Espenido said.
Aside from augmenting forces, check points are also being conducted in various points of Albuera. Curfew involving minors are also in full force as well as non-using of helmet among drivers.
Mayor Espinosa is staying inside the police station as he sought for police protective custody.
Police Inspector Salvador Apacible, team leader of the augmentation police, described the reinforcement as “planned deployment of additional personnel.”
“Our mission is to assist our fellow police officers to maintain peace in Albuera. Additional police forces are here to assist with the efforts to re-man, re-equip, but its primary mission will remain force protection. The more police we have, the less crime there will be,” Apacible added.
Meanwhile, people in Albuera have mixed feelings over the presence of police patrolling the town streets.
Rene Gilbert Estacio, village chairman of Mahayag, welcome the deployment describing it as “good thing.”
“It makes us feel more secure especially during the nights,” he said. Others, however, said the sight of police makes them uneasy.
“It makes me feel more nervous than secure to be honest,” said a teacher who declined to be named.
(JAZMIN E. BONIFACIO)