- President demanded the surrender of Leyte mayor and his son within 24 hours
- He said they will be shot on sight if they resist arrest and fight back
- Mayor and his son allegedly dealers and coddlers of drug traffickers
MANILA, Philippines – Surrender peacefully or die.
President Rodrigo Duterte issued this ultimatum to Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa in Leyte and his son Kerwin even as several men connected to them who earlier evaded a buy-bust operation have been holed up inside the latter’s house for days.
According to presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella, Duterte wants father and son to surrender within 24 hours; otherwise they will be shot on sight if they resist and fight back.
“President Rodrigo R. Duterte demanded the surrender of Mayor Ronaldo Espinosa Sr., of Albuera, Leyte and his son, Kerwin Espinosa, on the grounds of drug-trafficking and coddling, within 24 hours, otherwise an order of “shoot on sight” will be given if they resist and endanger the lives of arresting police officers,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying.
For its part, the Philippine National Police vowed to execute Duterte’s order.
“The Philippine National Police will follow the instructions of the Commander in Chief. We will apply Oplan Tokhang and ask the subject persons to surrender as demanded by the President,” the PNP said.
Espinosa’s two bodyguards and three employees were arrested last Thursday after law enforcers caught them selling drugs in an entrapment operation.
Arrested were Jessie Ocares, Marcelo Adorco, Jose Antipuesto, Jeffrey Pesquera, and Erensto. Seized from the men were two guns and several sachets of shabu worth P1.9 million.
Four others managed to escape the operatives by running to Kerwin’s house which is located inside the Espinosa compound.
The whereabouts of father and son are currently unknown. Staff of the older Espinosa said he has been on leave since July 18.