MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has again filed new drug-related charges against self-confessed drug distributor Kerwin Espinosa as well as 25 others over their alleged involvement in the Eastern Visayas drug trade from 2011 to 2016.
Espinosa, his alleged cohorts, and his alleged coddlers in police force were accused of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading in violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, based on the complaint the NBI filed at the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday.
The complaint alleges that Espinosa, who had by then been detained more than once, “moved his operation to Eastern Visayas on 2011” and ran the drug trade in Leyte, Southern Leyte, and Biliran despite being behind bars.
“Kerwin was detained in Ormoc City Jail on 19 May 2011 to 31 July 2013 for illegal possession of firearms and frustrated murder,” the NBI’s transmittal to the DOJ read.
“Despite of detention for almost two years, Kerwin drug trade flourished in Eastern Visayas Region through his cohorts, private armed men and coddlers,” it said.
The complaint named six police officers who allegedly coddled Espinosa.
Marcelo Adorco, his former aide, was also named a respondent.
Prosecutors had previously moved to make Adorco a state witness in another court case.
Espinosa is the son of the late Albuera, Leyte mayor Rolando Espinosa, whom President Rodrigo Duterte early in his presidency tagged in the illegal drug trade. The elder Espinosa was killed in a jail in Leyte in November 2016.
Kerwin faces charges in different courts, including drug trade conspiracy with convicted drug lord Peter Co, Adorco, alleged drug supplier Lovely Impal, Peter Lim, and Ruel Malindangan.
Adorco is under the DOJ’s witness protection program. Lim and Malindangan are at large.
Complaints filed at the DOJ undergo preliminary investigation by prosecutors, who will determine whether or not they will file a case in court. (STACY ANG/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)