Kerwin wants gun raps dropped

Court appointment Controversial inmate Kerwin Espinosa seems unfazed on the way to a Makati court to face trial for gun possession, one of the many criminal cases he is currently facing in addition to drug-related charges. ALFONSO PADILLA

Self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa on Thursday asked a Manila court to dismiss charges against him for illegal possession of firearms and explosives, citing insufficiency of evidence.

The charges stemmed from a raid on Espinosa’s residence in Sitio Tinago, Binolho Village in Albuera, Leyte in 2016 where authorities seized illegal drugs allegedly worth P1.9 million and assorted firearms.

Espinosa filed a motion asking Judge Marivic Balisi-Umali at Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 20 to permit him to file demurrer of evidence.

He argued the prosecution failed to present any explosives or firearms to support the accusations against him.

After the prosecution rests its case the accused may opt to file a demurrer to evidence to seek dismissal of the charges on the ground of insufficiency of evidence against him.
The court gave the prosecution five days to file its comment.

Atty. Jesus Oberejo, defense lead counsel, claimed the grant of the demurrer will virtually guarantee Espinosa’s acquittal.

Following the prosecution’s failure to present evidence at yesterday’s hearing, the court moved the trial of Espinosa’s cases to 27 September, 11 and 18 October.

Earlier, the Manila court had dismissed the cases for possession of dangerous drugs, illegal drug trading and illegal possession of firearms and explosives against Kerwin’s father and co-accused, Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., after he died during a police operation at a Leyte jail in November 2016.

Last Tuesday, Kerwin and former associate Marcelo Adorco entered a “not guilty” plea on conspiracy to commit drug trading charges filed separately before the Makati City RTC.

Their co-accused, Peter Go Lim, is still at-large.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said immigration records indicate Lim is still in the country.

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