MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A suspected Filipino drug lord, whose father was killed in an alleged gun fight in prison, was repatriated Friday from the United Arab Emirates to the Philippines, promising to tell all he knows about the narcotics trade in a move seen to bolster President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr. arrived in handcuffs and flak jacket at Manila’s airport with a police team that fetched him from Abu Dhabi. National police chief Ronald dela Rosa, who has assured Espinosa’s safety, escorted him from the airport to a maximum-security facility at the police headquarters.
Espinosa’s father, town mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., was arrested last month. He had agreed to cooperate with officials but was killed Nov. 5 in an alleged gun fight with police inside his jail cell. Senators investigating the case suspect it was an intentional killing.
At a news conference at the police headquarters, the younger Espinosa apologized to Duterte and asked for a chance to turn a new leaf.
“I ask forgiveness from President Duterte,” he said. “Whatever I have done in the past, I hope he can give me a chance to lead a new life.”
He assured Duterte that “all that I know about the drug trade will be revealed, all the names.”
Human rights groups and Western governments have criticized Duterte’s anti-drug campaign that has left more than 4,000 suspected addicts and pushers dead since July.