Bato: Richard Gomez now a ‘person of interest’
Ormoc City Mayor and actor Richard Gomez is now being investigated by the Philippine National Police (PNP) over his alleged involvement to illegal drugs, police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa has said.
Speaking to reporters at the Grand Marriott Hotel in Putrajaya, Malaysia on Thursday night, Dela Rosa said Gomez is now considered a “person of interest.”
During a Senate investigation on Thursday, Gomez, together with other local politicians in Leyte, was named as among those involved in the “drug group” of killed Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and his son, Kerwin, tagged as the biggest drug lord in Eastern Visayas.
The older Espinosa had claimed that Gomez was allegedly in his son’s list of drug protectors, naming him as one of the over 200 politicians, policemen, drug enforcement agents and even Leyte media persons that received protection money from his son.
Kerwin, who is now detained in Abu Dhabi where he was arrested on Oct. 17, has reportedly validated his father’s list, revealed Sen. Panfilo Lacson during the Senate hearing on the Espinosa killing on Nov. 10.
Gomez has denied this and dared those who were linking him to illegal drugs to present proofs or face charges in court.
Dela Rosa said there was no basis yet to arrest Gomez as the PNP has still to “dig deeper” on his alleged involvement.
“Wala naman tayo basis na hulihin siya kasi iba ‘yung kaso ng drugs — possession, selling, pushing . . . do you think gagawin ng mayor ‘yan?” he said.
(We do not have a basis to arrest him because there are different drug cases — possession, selling, pushing — do you think the mayor will get involved in those?)
The PNP chief said the investigation would be “beneficial” for Gomez to clear his name.
“Para in fairness naman sa kanya pag mag-conduct tayo ng investigation, malaman talaga natin deeper na wala siyang involvement then it will be very beneficial [on] his part,” he said
(We are conducting an investigation to be fair to him, so we can dig deeper if he has no involvement and it will be very beneficial on his part.)
“Yung pagsama sa kanya sa listahan ng yumaong Mayor Espinosa is one part of the investigation lang. Then we will dig deeper. Malay mo mamaya ‘di pala tototo. Pero the fact remains na kasama siya doon sa listahan as submitted to the (police),” he added. (His inclusion on the list of the late Mayor Espinosa is just a part of the investigation. Then we will dig deeper. Who knows, maybe, it’s not true. But the fact remains that he was included on the list that was submitted to the police.
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