Espinosa to possibly face charges despite surrender

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(File photo) Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. (L), Philippine National Police Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa (R)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — He may have surrendered, but this does not give Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. immunity from being charged in connection to illegal drug activities in his hometown in Leyte.

Espinosa surrendered to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa on Tuesday for fear for his life. He also admitted having knowledge of the illegal drug activities of his son Kerwin, identified as the drug lord responsible for the illicit trade in Eastern Visayas.

Dela Rosa said on Wednesday, Espinosa may still face charges and that his sworn affidavit may also be used against him.

According to Dela Rosa, the PNP will endorse Espinosa’s case to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for possible administrative charges.

Dela Rosa also said that as mayor, Espinosa must be responsible especially when it comes to dealing with illegal drug trade.

“I turned him over to the CIDG para kukunan ng statement,” said Dela Rosa.

[Translation: I turned him over to CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) to get his statement.]

Dela Rosa added, Espinosa may also face criminal liabilities.

“Whatever na statements na makukuha ng CIDG sa kanya, pwedeng magagamit natin in pursuance of cases that we are going to file against anybody na pwedeng magagamit ang kanyang testimony.”

[Translation: Whatever statement CIDG can get from him could be used in pursuance of cases that we are going to file against anybody connected and involved in his testimony.]

Meanwhile, six people were killed in an encounter between Regional public safety battalion and the Espinosa’s camp outside his residence in Albuera, Leyte Wednesday morning.

The police found high-powered firearms inside the mayor’s house.

There is also an ongoing manhunt operation against Espinosa’s son Kerwin, who has a shoot-on-sight order from President Rodrigo Duterte for failing to surrender within the given deadline.

CNN Philippines’ Gerg Cahiles contributed to this report.