Officer who led serving search warrant to mayor got money for wife’s election bid, son of late mayor claims
The police officer who led an operation which led to the death of Rolando Espinosa Sr. in a detention facility, the former municipal mayor of Albuera, Leyte allegedly received P3 million from the late government official during the May 2016 elections.
Superintendent Marvin Marcos, former head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Region 8, allegedly used the money for the campaign expenses of his wife in a failed bid as Pastrana, Leyte town vice mayor.
This was alleged by Espinosa's son, Rolan "Kerwin" Espinosa, reportedly one of the biggest drug lords in eastern Visayas, during a Senate hearing on Wednesday.
Marcos and his men served a search warrant at the Baybay City sub-provincial jail early morning of November 8. This ended in a shootout after Mayor Espinosa and another inmate, Raul Yap, reportedly retaliated.
Espinosa recounted how Marcos, through another police official who acted as an emissary, wanted to communicate with him in the first week of May.
After Marcos got his phone number, the official called Espinosa and relayed his demand of P3 million to fund his wife's campaign.
"He told he needs P3 million but what I could produce is P2.5million," the suspected drug lord said.
Espinosa became emotional with his father's death and stared at Marcos.
Marcos, who about five seats away from Espinosa, gave the alleged drug trafficker dagger looks. Later in the hearing, he chided the way the proceedings were being conducted.
"I hope we can also give our side because this is looking very one-sided ," Marcos said, getting a reprimand from Senator Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the committee on public order and dangerous drugs.
In return, Espinosa said he and his underlings in the drug trade will not be touched and neutralized by Marcos' men.
"He will tell me the place and time his people are conducting checkpoints," said Espinosa.
On May 7, from 10 am to 12 noon, Espinosa recalled his father approached him and told him to prepare the money for Marcos. They met Marcos the same day in front of Zeelan Hotel in Albuera. The two sides were in separate vehicles
"My father personally gave P1.5 million in cash to Col. Marcos and we separated," said Espinosa.
Espinosa recalled they haven't reached home when Marcos called him and told him he will ollect the remaining amount the following day.
On May 8, the Espinosas' gave P1 million to Marcos personally in front of the same hotel.
After the elder Espinosa won as mayor of Albuera, he gave P500,000 to Marcos as "bonus" according to his son.
Lacson reminded Espinosa to address his answers to them and not to Marcos. He apologized and explained he was just emotional because of his father's death.
"It's my father. If it was my wife, she could easily be replaced," said Espinosa. Emmanuel Tupas/DMS