Mayor Rolando Espinosa, Sr. of the town of Albuera in the province of Leyte, was arrested on Wednesday, October 5.
Supreme Court Regional Trial Court Branch 14 issued a warrant for his arrest on Tuesday, October 4.
He is facing charges of violations of Republic Act 9165, or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, for illegal possession of dangerous drugs. He will not be entitled to bail pursuant to the special law.
He is also facing charges for possession of illegal firearms on top of the drug rap.
The arrest was made in connection with the drug bust of the mayor’s house conducted by the authorities last August 10. The raid yielded 11 kilograms of shabu. Materials used for making explosive devices were also recovered.
The confiscated shabu was estimated to be worth PHP88 million.
Before the raid was conducted, Espinosa voluntarily went to the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame on August 2.
He was prompted to visit the PNP by President Rodrigo Duterte’s ultimatum addressed to him and his son, Rolan ‘Kerwin’ Espinosa, to surrender, or be killed.
Espinosa Sr. made the admission to PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa of his son’s involvement in the illegal drug trade in the Visayas area. He also disclosed that his son’s supplier of illegal drugs was drug lord Peter Co, who is now locked up in the Maximum Security Compound at the New Bilibid Prison.
The mayor subsequently returned to Leyte in August 16, and was kept under close surveillance by police authorities.
Mayor Espinosa is notably one of the many local government officials whose names are included in the infamous drug matrix by President Duterte. He was specifically identified as one of the protectors of the illegal drug trade in the country.
Meanwhile, the younger Espinosa remains at large. Authorities believe that the younger Espinosa already fled to Malaysia to evade arrest and prosecution for his involvement with illegal drugs.