• Sister-in-law of Leyte town mayor asked Duterte for mercy
  • She appealed to the president for due process as police searching for her nephew Kerwin
  • Cebu-based family also shocked at allegations father and son are engaged in the illegal drug business

MANILA, Philippines – With a manhunt underway for her nephew whom police tagged as a big-time drug lord in Eastern Visayas, a Cebu-based in-law of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to show mercy and due process on her family.

“Mr. President, Bisaya man sad mi, maghinaot lang ko nga ang tanan i-due process lang… ako lang hangyo nimo Mr. President, amahan man sad ka, tingali naa pud tay kalooy nahibilin sa atong kasingkasing sa atong mga anak,” Emma Espinosa told ABS-CBN.

[Mr. President, mga Bisaya rin kami, sana idaan n’yo lahat sa due process… Hiling ko lang po sa inyo, Mr. President, ama ka rin, baka may konting awa pa diyan sa puso ninyo para sa anak ninyo.]

Mrs. Espinosa and her husband Ramon Jr. — a brother of the mayor — live in their ancestral home in Cebu.

The mayor’s son, Kerwin Espinosa, is currently the subject of a manhunt after defying a 24-hour deadline to surrender.

She also said their family and neighbors in Cebu are shocked at the allegations of father and son being engaged in the illegal drug trade, especially since Rolando Sr. made the elimination of drugs one of his campaign goals when he was running for mayor.

The older Espinosa, who earlier surrendered to PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, admitted that his son Kerwin was involved with convicted drug lord Peter Co. However, he himself denied any links to the drug trade; saying he had no control over his son and hasn’t had any contact with him since May.

Dela Rosa also warned Kerwin that he will be shot on sight should he fight back instead of giving up.