Philip­pine mayor ac­cused over drugs killed in jail

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

A Philip­pine mayor Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte named as be­ing in­volved in the il­le­gal drug trade was shot dead in jail yes­ter­day, po­lice said, the sec­ond lo­cal of­fi­cial im­pli­cated in nar­cotics to be killed in two weeks. Duterte, 71, won May elec­tions in a land­slide on a prom­ise to kill tens of thou­sands of crim­i­nals to pre­vent the Philip­pines from be­com­ing a narco-state, and has launched an un­prece­dented war on drugs that has left more than 4,000 peo­ple dead. He had named sev­eral lo­cal of­fi­cials, po­lice­men and judges as be­ing in­volved in the nar­cotics trade and urged them to sur­ren­der. In Au­gust, he ac­cused Rolando Espinosa, the mayor of Al­buera town in the cen­tral is­land of Leyte, and his son of drug traf­fick­ing and de­manded they turn them­selves in, giv­ing po­lice a “shoot on sight” or­der if the two re­sisted ar­rest.

Mayor Espinosa then sur­ren­dered to the na­tional po­lice chief, say­ing he feared for his life, and was ar­rested last month. But early yes­ter­day morn­ing, po­lice said Espinosa was killed in his cell in the pro­vin­cial jail af­ter he shot at of­fi­cers dur­ing a search for il­le­gal firearms. “He fired on the raid­ing team. The raid­ing team fired back and this led to the mayor’s death,” chief in­spec­tor Leo Laraga of the re­gional po­lice told AFP.

He added that an­other in­mate ac­cused of drug traf­fick­ing was also killed, af­ter he too fired at the of­fi­cers. The na­tional po­lice said it was in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing Espinosa’s death as well as pos­si­ble col­lu­sion be­tween guards and in­mates to get guns and drugs into the jail. Po­lice chief Ron­ald dela Rosa pre­vi­ously said Espinosa had been listed in of­fi­cial records as a “drug pro­tec­tor”, whose son Ker­win con­trolled the nar­cotics trade in the Al­buera re­gion. Ker­win was ar­rested in the United Arab Emi­rates last month and is set to re­turn to the Philip­pines to face drug traf­fick­ing charges. In Au­gust, six of the Espinosas’ sup­port­ers died in a gun­fight with po­lice out­side the mayor’s prop­erty in Al­buera where of­fi­cers said they re­cov­ered guns and sev­eral grenades. An­other mayor ac­cused of drug traf­fick­ing was killed in the south­ern Philip­pines in late Oc­to­ber. Po­lice said Sam­sudin Di­maukom and his se­cu­rity per­son­nel opened fire af­ter anti-nar­cotics po­lice stopped their ve­hi­cles at a check­point on sus­pi­cion they were trans­port­ing il­le­gal drugs. — AFP

SEOUL: South Korean protesters stage a rally call­ing for South Korean Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye to step down. — AP

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