5 Albuera, Leyte villages tagged poll hotspots
TACLOBAN CITY – Five villages in the hometown of self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa in Albuera town, Leyte province, have been identified as possible hotspots for the May 14 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.
One of these villages is Binolho, where the Espinosas own two houses and where Kerwin and his father, slain Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., used to live.
The four other villages are Tinag-an, Balugo, Mahayahay, Sherwood.
“These barangays were identified due to intense political rivalries during past elections and because we have monitored presence of (individuals) who were identified with the Espinosas,” said Senior Insp. Ronald Espina, town police chief, in a phone interview.
The town police chief, whose coverage area involves 16 villages of Albuera, said they had yet to find out if there were candidates for this May 14 barangay and SK polls who were close to the Espinosas.
“The right of suffrage and to run is a constitutional right. We cannot stop them to run or to vote because the Philippine National Police is an apolitical organization. We don’t engage in any politically related activity like supporting a particular candidate to the disadvantage of another candidate,” Espina said.
It would be up to the voters to decide whom to elect, he added.
President Duterte earlier raised the possibility that there might be candidates in the May polls who were involved in illegal drugs.
Senior Inspector Espina assured the public that the illegal drugs activity in Albuera had slowly become “manageable.”
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