MANILA, Philippines - Alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa has agreed to spill the beans on his illegal drug operations upon returning to the country from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates next week, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II revealed yesterday.
Espinosa, who was tagged by President Duterte as the drug kingpin of Eastern Visayas, has volunteered to submit a sworn statement detailing his operations and identifying his protectors and cohorts in exchange for turning state witness, Aguirre said.
Aguirre also revealed in a press conference that Espinosa would be fetched by a team from the Philippine National Police next week from the UAE where he was arrested last Oct. 17 after months of hiding abroad.
He said three PNP officers are set to leave on Sunday for Abu Dhabi to fetch Espinosa.
Aguirre said he has received a letter from the Philippine ambassador to UAE saying Espinosa has expressed intention to be placed under the government’s Witness Protection Program (WPP).
“He could qualify for WPP because he appears to be not the most guilty (in the drug trafficking crime). When there’s someone else from the government, then that person could be the most guilty,” Aguirre explained.
“Once he arrives, he will be brought to the PNP custodial center first before he could be turned over with his sworn statement to WPP custody,” Aguirre bared.
Aguirre admitted the government needs to be extra careful in securing Espinosa after his father, Albuera, Leyte Mayor Roland Espinosa, was killed while in detention in the Baybay sub-provincial jail last Nov. 5.
“That’s a lesson learned for us. That’s why we are considering placing Kerwin under WPP,” he said.
Aguirre said the DOJ has already ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to probe the incident where the elder Espinosa was killed during a supposed shootout with policemen serving a search warrant.