MANILA, Oct 20 (Mabuhay) — Self-confessed drug distributor Kerwin Espinosa on Friday entered a not guilty plea in connection with his illegal drug trading case.
Escorted by government agents, Espinosa maintained his innocence from the charges filed against him before Judge Silvino Pampilo Jr. of the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 26.
Espinosa is also facing separate cases for illegal possession of explosives and firearms before Judge Marivic Balisi-Umali of the Manila RTC Branch 20.
The court earlier dismissed the cases for possession of dangerous drugs, illegal drug trading and illegal possession of firearms and explosives against Espinosa’s father and co-accused, Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., following the latter’s death during a bloody police search operation at a jail facility in Leyte on November 5 last year.
Under Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code, a person’s criminal liability is extinguished upon his death.
The cases stemmed from the police raid on the Espinosa residence in Binolho village in Albuera on July 28 last year where authorities seized illegal drugs and assorted firearms.
It was Judge Carlos Arguelles of the Baybay City RTC Branch 14 who handled the cases until the Supreme Court recently granted the request of both the prosecution and defense camps to transfer the trial to Metro Manila for security reasons. (MNS)