Cover Story


Kerwin Espinosa Testing The Waters

Jun 18, 2024, 2:38 AM
Miguel Raymundo

Miguel Raymundo


Philippine democracy, at times, can be a joke.

If certain politicians who spent time in jail shamelessly run again for electoral positions once out and the public choose to elect candidated based on good looks, then the country is in jeopardy.

In addition to the outrageous twists in the country’s politics, speculations are rife that self- proclaimed drug- lord, Rolan Kerwin Espinosa, is set to run for mayor in Albuera, Leyte.

For years, Espinosa was in the spotlight for his involvement in illegal drug trade in Eastern Visayas.

Evidence Insufficient?

Recently, Leyte court junked drug charges against Espinosa for alleged "insufficiency of evidence" presented by the prosecution against Espinosa and some of his fellow accused.

Last December, the court also ordered a bail of P600,000 for his temporary freedom.

Espinosa was a star witness on drug allegations against former Senator Leila de Lima.

Soon after, it can be recalled, that he recanted his sworn statement against De Lima in a Senate joint committee hearing on the killing of his father Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. He said he was “coerced, pressured, intimidated, and seriously threatened” by the police to implicate De Lima on drugs.

A Legacy?

Whether his innocence as a drug trader was true or not, the region remains divided.

What was surprising was the public support Espinosa has been getting as regards talks of his candidacy.

Looking back, Espinosa Sr. was the mayor of Albuera.

Strong indications were “seen” that the younger Espinosa has his eyes on his father's former position.

One Who Cares

OpinYon 8 sources said posters with Kerwin Espinosa's photo flashed were all over the community as early as the first quarter of this year. These became prominently visible during the fiesta season of May in Albuera.

Posters showed Espinosa alongside local officials, with the tag line “Rolan ‘Care Win’ Espinosa – The one who truly cares.”

As of this writing, talks of the candidacy remain as mere speculations and no confirmation has been issued. Whatever the posters are for, those did successfully manage to “trigger” talks among locals.

“Hala sige padauga gihap para makatisting anot rasa hit shabu,”RM UR sarcastically posted.

“Only in the Philippines, mga darakpon na daog, mga tuhay gin papakaraot. Hirap mong piliin Pilipinas,” netizen Yolanda said.

Choose Wisely

Whether the posters were a “sign” of the younger Espinosa's ambitions, it is still up to the voter to choose the right candidate.

But then again how many times were the public misled?

Is democracy still democracy? Or, is it political dynasty in the guise of good ol' democracy?

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