Alleged Espinosa protectors
By: JAN B. DAMAS
ALBUERA, Leyte- The police chief of this town initiated the filing of criminal charges against nine personalities alleged to be engaging or protectors of illegal drug activity of Mayor Roland Espinosa and his son Kerwin.
Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido filed separate complaints against businessman Eufrocino “Winnie” Codilla, Jr., brother of former Ormoc city mayors Eric and Eduardo; Jonnah Joseph Ungab, lawyer and vice mayor of Ronda, Cebu; businessman Victor Espina, brother of former PNP Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina and Joseph Nuñez, retired officer of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
Media personalities Lalaine Jimenea, Leo Dumon and John Pilapil were also included in the complaint filed Wednesday (Oct.12) by Espenido at the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office based in Tacloban City.
All were charged for receiving drug money from the Espinosas as protection money.
Used as evidence by Espenido in filing complaints against the respondents were the returned checks they recovered with their names on them.
The checks were said to be issued by Espinosa as a payoff to the respondents for them to continue their illegal drug activity.
Mayor Espinosa had earlier claimed that various personalities, including top government officials, received huge sum of money as payola to them so they could continue to operate their illegal drug activity.
His son Kerwin was tagged by President Rodrigo Duterte as the region’s top drug lord.
The two were earlier charged for selling illegal drugs and possession of firearms.
The Albuera mayor is now detained at the sub-provincial jail in Baybay City while Kerwin remains at-large.
Earlier, Espenido filed a complaint against former Justice Secretary and now Senator Leila de Lima and Nelson Pepito, Jr., councilor of Barangay Binolho, Albuera for drug trafficking before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Leyte Samar Daily Express could not reach some of the respondents for their reactions.
But Jimenea, who is the publisher of EV Mail, based on media report, declined to comment upon advice of her lawyer. She is on a trip abroad.
Pilapil, correspondent of CNN Philippines and anchor of Power FM based in Ormoc City, dismissed the complaint filed against him.
He said that the money he received from the Espinosa was a payment for a sponsorship for his radio program especially when the elder Espinosa ran for mayor of Albuera last year.