Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa had corroborated allegations that former Justice Secretary and now Senator Leila De Lima benefited from the illegal drug activities of his son Kerwin in Eastern Visayas. In a six-page affidavit taken by Albuera policemen in August, Espinosa said Kerwin had told him that De Lima was one of the government and law enforcement officials protecting his narcotics business. The media gained access to the affidavit after Espinosa was killed in an alleged shootout inside a Leyte jail in the wee hours of Saturday morning. "Aside from the fact that my son Kerwin told me about it, I personally witnessed my son and (then Justice) Secretary De Lima met and talked regarding Kerwin's illegal drug trade in Baguio City sometime in March 2016," Espinosa said. Also present during the meeting is Kerwin's common law wife, Hazel Mago.


Espinosa said he was in possession of a photo of the meeting between De Lima and Kerwin, which took place in the middle of the 2016 election campaign. A photo showing De Lima and Kerwin together surfaced in the media months back. De Lima, in response, said she did not know Kerwin and the photo was not enough evidence to pin her down. She said many people wanted to have their pictures taken with her especially during the campaign period. Told on Monday of Espinosa's affidavit, De Lima said in a text message: "Another invention from their factory of lies. #InventPaMore." Describing his son a "big time" drug lord, Espinosa said Kerwin got his drug supplies from a certain Lovely, who in turn, sourced the contraband from Peter Co, a high profile inmate in the New Bilibid Prison, and certain Peter Lim.

The late mayor said Kerwin introduced Lovely sometime in November 2015 at the Zellan Hotel Reef and Spa in Albuera town. Espinosa admitted he had never met Co and Lim although he recalled their family driver and bodyguard, Marcelo Adorco, telling him that Kerwin was with Lim in Thailand in November 2014. "My son, who was in jail at that time, informed me the reason why he was introduced by 'Lovely' to 'Peter Co' was because 'Lovely' could not pay already her outstanding balance of P10 million to Peter Co," the affidavit read. "[To] set off Lovely's debt to Peter Co, Kerwin will take over the illegal drug trade in Eastern Visayas as Peter Co's trader," it added. Espinosa said Kerwin "often" told him the drugs supplied by Lim are being transported through an airplane from Hong Kong or Thailand to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. Kerwin, meanwhile, was getting his supply from Co through the inmate's "trustee."


"From Manila, the drugs are brought by the personnel of either Peter Lim or Peter Co to a place in Bulacan and said items are then exchanged/switched along the 'Skyway' of the said place between the 'biyahedor' and a personnel of either Peter Co or Peter Lim on board a private vehicle," Espinosa said. From Bulacan, the "biyahedor" brings the drugs to the residence of Kerwin in Makati City and later on to Ormoc City. "More or less 30 to 50 kilos a month are brought to Ormoc City and these 30 to 50 kilos are then distributed throughout Eastern Visayas," he said. Espinosa, who died in an alleged shootout inside his his cell in the Baybay City Sub-Provincial Jail on Saturday, surrendered to Philippine National Police chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa in August after his name was included in a list of government officials allegedly involved in illegal drugs. He eventually left police custody and returned to work, but was arrested on October 5 over charges for illegal possession of dangerous drug and firearms. Kerwin, the mayor's co-accused, was arrested in Abu Dhabi last month and is in the process of being deported back to the Philippines.

Source: GMA NEWS



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