Over 30 firearms confiscated from house of Leyte mayor
MANILA – Several firearms were seized from the compound owned by Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa following yesterday's encounter between the police and the mayor's alleged underlings. The seized haul include 21 long firearms, 16 short firearms, ammunition, and grenades. A gunfight broke out between law enforcers and supporters of Mayor Espinosa at dawn on Wednesday outside his property in Albuera. Philippine National Police spokesman Dionaldo Carlos said six gunmen were killed. Region 8 police chief Elmer Beltejar said they have witnesses who can link Espinosa to the drug trade. On Monday President Rodrigo Duterte gave Espinosa and his son 24 hours to surrender after police arrested five of the mayor's bodyguards and employees in a drug sting operation.
"Otherwise, an order of 'shoot on sight' will be given if they resist and endanger the lives of arresting police officers," presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said on television. The mayor surrendered to police on Tuesday. The son is at large. The mayor "surrendered to me... (following) orders of the president for him to be shot on sight if he resists," said national police chief Ronald de la Rosa.
Police chief Ronald de la Rosa said Mayor Espinosa had been listed in police records as a "drug protector" whose son controlled the narcotics trade in Albuera. "If you're listening now Kerwin, your father has already surrendered so you should follow your father," de la Rosa said in a bizarre live news conference with Espinosa.
"If you don't surrender you will die, so better surrender because your life is really in danger." The mayor was the second high-profile drug suspect to turn himself in after being accused by Duterte of drugs-related crimes. Last month, also on national television, Duterte told a businessman at a meeting he would "finish you off" unless he stopped dealing in drugs. The businessman denied the allegations. Police said more than 100,000 other people have also surrendered to the local authorities and pledged to stop using illegal drugs.