Kerwin told: Stay put in Crame

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol November 24,2016 - 10:51 PM
Kerwin Espinosa walked out of the Senate session hall escorted by security forces as the hearing on extrajudicial killings adjourned at the Senate on Wednesday (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO).

Kerwin Espinosa walked out of the Senate session hall escorted by security forces as the hearing on extrajudicial killings adjourned at the Senate on Wednesday (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO).

Arrested drug lord Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr. may not be able to see his father for the last time after his lawyer discouraged him from attending the burial of slain Albuera mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. on December 6.

Instead, lawyer Jonah John Ungab advised Kerwin to remain in Camp Crame where he has been detained since his extradition from Abu Dhabi last week.

“He would want to see his father for the last time, but it’s just too risky for him,” the lawyer said.

After revealing details about his operations and implicating Sen. Leila de Lima and several police officers, Ungab said that he feared Kerwin would end up like his father.

“We do not know who to trust. That is why we really would want to ensure his safety,” said Ungab.

Mayor Espinosa was killed in what operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Eastern Visayas (CIDG-8) described as a shootout inside his cell at the sub-provincial jail in Baybay City last Nov. 5.

The slain local executive was said to have executed an affidavit linking 226 government, military, police and judicial personnel to the widespread illegal drug trade of his son, Kerwin.

But during the Senate inquiry that looked into the mayor’s death, Kerwin disowned his father’s alleged affidavit, saying that the mayor’s signature was forged.

He also cleared local officials whose names were in that affidavit.

Kerwin also exonerated Ungab who was among those charged by police for allegedly being a drug protector.

Kerwin said Ungab, who is also the vice mayor of Ronda town in southern Cebu, was not involved in his illegal drugs trade and was only his legal counsel.

The statement was echoed by Ungab in an interview with Cebu Daily News on Thursday.

“My relationship with the Espinosas is purely on the legal aspect. I was surprised when I was tagged a drug protector. But I’m just happy that Kerwin eventually clarified my role in their family,” said Ungab.

The lawyer added that they are now contemplating on who should take custody of Kerwin.

“There are suggestions for us to let the National Bureau of Investigation secure him although we also think Camp Crame is okay,” Ungab said.

Only Kerwin’s lawyers and immediate family are allowed to visit the drug lord in Camp Crame.

Kerwin’s lawyers had requested the Department of Justice (DOJ) to admit Kerwin to the agency’s Witness Protection Program so he would be provided with personal security, said Ungab.

DOJ has yet to respond to the request.

Asked whether he believed his client was telling the truth during the Senate investigation, Ungab said, “Only Kerwin knows.”

“But we had heard that his testimonies were spontaneous and free flowing,” Ungab added.

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TAGS: Abu Dhabi, Albuera, Camp Crame, CIDG 8, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Eastern Visayas, Department of Justice, DOJ, extradition, Jonah John Ungab, Kerwin Espinosa, lawyer, Leila De Lima, Rolando Espinosa, Rolando Espinosa Jr., Ungab

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