Espinosa ‘confined’ in Cebu hospital
Is suspected drug protector Albuera Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. confined in a hospital in Cebu City?
Police officials on Monday scrambled for answers following radio reports that the mayor arrived in Cebu last Saturday to have himself confined in a hospital here.
“I asked my men to monitor Mayor Espinosa’s whereabouts. They checked all hospitals in Cebu but so far the feedback is negative, said Senior Supt. Joel Doria, head of the Cebu City Police Office.
Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), said that all information he received regarding Espinosa’s alleged presence in Cebu were from the media.
The Albuera mayor, he said, has not coordinated nor sought security from PRO-7.
A report on radio station DYAB said Espinosa was confined in a hospital somewhere south of Cebu City under heavy watch.
According to the DYAB report, the station’s reporter was not allowed to get inside the mayor’s room — a suite on the third floor — because security was tight.
Earlier, a check by Cebu Daily News at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) showed that Espinosa was registered as among the passengers of a Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight from Manila which arrived at the airport at 1:08 p.m. last Saturday.
Sources said Espinosa boarded the plane bound for Cebu a few hours after he left the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame where he had surrendered days before.
Last August 2, Espinosa showed up at the PNP headquarters to beat a 24-hour deadline set by President Rodrigo Duterte for him and his 36-year-old son, Kerwin, to surrender or shoot-on-sight orders would be issued against them.
Before PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa, the mayor denied protecting his son, a known drug lord in Eastern Visayas and tearfully pleaded for him to surrender.
Kerwin, who is believed to be out of the country, remains at large.
A source on Friday tipped off CDN about the mayor’s plan to seek medical attention in Cebu, requesting members of the media to fetch him at the airport to foil what he feared would be possible assassination attempts on him.
Based on the flight radar application of the airport, the mayor and a certain Mariel Espinosa were on board the 12 noon PAL flight from Manila.
But reporters waiting at the arrival area failed to see Mayor Espinosa among the arriving passengers.
Instead, it was his brother Ramon, the latter’s wife Emma and two teenage kids who emerged from the arrival area.
Escorted by members of the Aviation Security Unit-7 (AVEU-7), Ramon who partly hid his face with a jacket, refused to answer questions from the media and immediately boarded a taxicab with his companions.
Supt. Ritchie Posadas, director of AVEU-7, later confirmed that Mayor Espinosa did arrive at the MCIA Saturday afternoon.
According to reports, Ramon and Emma acted as mere decoys for “security purposes.”
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