Police arrested Wednesday morning Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa for alleged possession of 11.4 kilos of illegal drugs and illegal possession of firearms that were found in his home during a raid in August.
Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido, Albuera police chief, said the arrest was made after authorities received the warrant of arrest issued by the court.
A report on GMA News TV's "News To Go" said police nabbed Espinosa at past 8 a.m. for cases of illegal possession of firearms and explosives and the non-bailable possession of illegal drugs.
Espinosa, 54, was taken for processing to Regional Trial Court Branch 14 in Baybay City under Judge Carlos Arguelles, who issued the warrant for his arrest.
GMA News stringer Ronnie Roa said in a Balitanghali report that the mayor first underwent a medical examination with Dr. Arabielle Verano in Western Leyte Provincial Hospital before he was brought to Leyte Sub Provincial Jail in Baybay City, where 44 other inmates are detained.
Last August 1, President Rodrigo Duterte demanded the surrender of the mayor and his son, Kerwin, over their alleged involvement in drug trafficking.
They were ordered to surrender within 24 hours or face a "shoot on sight" order if they resist arrest.
The elder Espinosa surrendered to Philippine National Police chief Dir. Gen. Ronald dela Rosa the next day, and repeatedly pleaded for his son to do the same.
Espinosa was expecting that his application to be part of the government’s Witness Protection Program would be approved.
Kerwin, an alleged drug lord, is still at large. A source from the Bureau of Immigration said he flew to Malaysia in June.
Days after his father's surrender, the younger Espinosa reportedly sent surrender feels, but still did not surface. This forced the mayor and his family out of the "White House," the PNP chief's official residence, where they sought security after receiving threats.
Later that month, however, the police took custody of the elder Espinosa due to threats to his life, after he submitted a sworn affidavit naming other officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade in Eastern Visayas.
He named several police officers, members of Congress—including a senator—as among Kerwin's cohorts.
Albuera Vice Mayor Rosa Maneses is expected to assume Espinosa’s post within three day.
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