• Members of the PNP conducted a raid on Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa’s properties early Wednesday
  • Six alleged henchmen of the mayor were killed
  • Police are pursuing other suspects who have taken refuge in a safehouse allegedly owned by the mayor

Six men were killed during a gun battle between members of the Philippine National Police and alleged henchmen of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa when a raid was conducted on the mayor’s properties early Wednesday, August 3.

As per a GMA News Online’s story, two of the victims died in the mayor’s house; two in his son Kerwin’s place – who is allegedly a drug lord and a subject of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “shoot-on-sight” order – and the other two in another house of the elder Espinosa — all located in Sitio Tinago in Brgy. Benolho, Albuera, Leyte.

According to Inquirer, the police conducted the raid after receiving information that there was “movement” inside the gated properties of the Espinosas.

The raiding team was comprised of combined forces of the Leyte Provincial Police Office, Regional Public Safety Battalion, and Albuera Philippine National Police, led by Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido, the Albuera town police chief.

At around 5:30 a.m., a gunfight ensued when two armed men manning the gate of the mayor’s property allegedly fired at the police officers.

Empty M-16 shells and long firearms were recovered from the Espinosa property. Also recovered from the slain gunmen were short firearms.

Authorities are pursuing four other suspects and have surrounded a suspected safehouse as of posting time, as per GMA News Online.

Earlier, Mayor Espinosa surrendered to police authorities and asked to be placed under the custody of PNP Chief Director General Ronald De la Rosa following President Duterte’s demand that he and his son surrender within 24-hours or risk getting shot on sight if they fail to turn themselves in. The mayor denied any involvement  in the illegal drug trade, but admitted his son Kerwin is a bigtime drug dealer in Eastern Visayas.