ILOILO CITY Mayor Joe Espinosa III stressed that he will not extend help to barangay captains who are involved in illegal drug trade.
“For my constituents, ari lang ko. Pero kung drugs, I will not lift a finger. Indi ko magbulig,” he said.
Espinosa issued the statement days after his niece-in-law, Punong Barangay Keith “Dabing” Espinosa of Monica Blumentritt, City Proper, attempted to meet Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, Police Regional Office (PRO-6) regional director.
Espinosa is the wife of former barangay kagawad Jesus “Jing-Jing” Espinosa Jr., a nephew of Mayor Espinosa.
The PNP and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) had tagged Jing-Jing as high-value drug personality in Western Visayas. He is currently incarcerated at the Iloilo District Jail in Pototan, Iloilo.
Until her attempt to meet Bulalacao, Dabing Espinosa had holed herself up in their home after the death of fellow lady village chief Remia Prevendido-Gregori, sister of alleged slain drug lord Richard Prevendido, on June 24, 2018.
Mayor Espinosa said Keith Espinosa has yet to seek his help.
On July 12, Keith Espinosa sought an audience with John Bulalacao, claiming that she feared for her life and her children amid her alleged links to the illegal drug trade. But she failed to meet the police director.
Aside from Gregori and Espinosa, former barangay captain Noemi Jablo of Desamparados, Jaro was also arrested this week for alleged drug peddling.
The three lady barangay officials were investigated by the Sangguniang Panlungsod for their alleged links to illegal drugs.
Mayor Espinosa refrained from commenting when asked if he believes that Dabing is involved in drugs.
“Indi ta kasabat sina kay may proseso. Ti indi ako ya mag-prejudge. So it will be up to the investigating units to file cases or the court to decide whether she is involved or not,” she said.
Mayor Espinosa also appealed to other barangay captains to distance themselves from any activities related to illegal drugs.
“Sa aton kapitanes, indi na kamo mag-intra sina. Hambal ko gani sa mga pulis, kun may gagamit sang ngalan ko, indi na ako kay waay ako gaintra sa drugs. Kag biskan sin-o basta drugs, indi ako magpahilabot,” he said.