MANILA – State prosecutors gave 14 co-respondents of Eastern Visayas drug kingpin Rolan “Kerwin” Espinosa’s 14 in drug charges more time to refute the allegations against them.
Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Azarcon gave the respondents until March 30 to file their respective counter-affidavits to the allegations in the complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation-Task Force Anti-Illegal Drugs (NBI-TFAID).
The panel started its preliminary investigation of the complaint on February 11.
The NBI-TFAID filed the complaint before the DOJ following the investigation it conducted on the admission by Espinosa, the son of slain Albuera, Leyte mayor Rolando Espinosa.
Out of the original 26 respondents named in the complaint, only a dozen have filed their respective counter-affidavits before the panel last March 2.
Those who failed to submit counter-affidavits were Marcelo Adorco, Maba Limbona, Brian Anthony Zaldivar alias Tonypet, Galo Legaspi alias Kapre, Police Officer 3 Dennis Torrefel, Galo Bobares, Ferdinand Rondina alias Denan, Jose Antipuesto alias Joe, Jose Estrera alias Amang, Nickjune Canin, Alfred Batistis, Josela Dumaguit alias Jojie, Baysay L. Custodio and Vistor L. Espina Jr.
Adorco and Dumaguit are currently in the custody of the Bureau of Jail Management Penology (BJMP).
Among those who were able to submit counter-affidavits were Espinosa, Police Brig. Gen. Asher Dolina, Police Maj. Wilfredo C. Abordo, Police Capt. Bernie Magamay, Police Staff Sgt. Roberto Arafol, Police Cpl. Marvin Parac, Police Chief Master Sgt. Eduardo Betuin, Martin L. Espina, Marites S. Ang, Police Col. Elizar Egloso, Police Capt. Eufracio Javines and Viberca Diano.
Under the allegations, the respondents were involved in large-scale illegal drug operations in Eastern Visayas from 2011 to 2016.
During this period, Espinosa was able to conduct illegal drug trading even while he was detained at the Ormoc City Jail from May 2011 to July 2013 for charges of illegal possession of firearms and frustrated murder. (PNA)