By Erma Edera
Self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa asked a local court on Thursday to dismiss his illegal possession of firearms and explosives cases due to lack of sufficient evidence that stemmed from a police raid on his residence in Leyte.
In his motion for leave to file demurrer of evidence filed before Judge Marivic Balisi-Umali at Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 20, Espinosa argued that no explosives and firearms were presented during the trial that would implicate him.
A demurrer to evidence is a motion to dismiss the case for lack of sufficient evidence to convict the accused. Based on the Rules on Criminal Procedure, the accused may file a demurrer after the prosecution rests its case.
The prosecution was given five days to file a comment.
Atty. Jesus Oberejo, defense lead counsel, said the granting of the demurrer means the acquittal of Espinosa.
Meanwhile, the prosecution failed to present evidence today but was moved to September 27, October 11 and October 18.
The cases stemmed from a buy-bust operation conducted in Espinosa’s residence in Sitio Tinago, Binolho Village in Albuera, Leyte on July 28 where authorities seized illegal drugs reportedly 1.9 million and assorted firearms.
The court earlier dismissed the cases for possession of dangerous drugs, illegal drug trading and illegal possession of firearms and explosives against Espinosa’s father and co-accused, Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., following the latter’s death during a bloody police search operation at a jail facility in Leyte on November 5 last year.
Espinosa is also facing a case on illegal drugs trade where his trial will resume on August 31.
The charges were originally heard at Branch 14 of Baybay, Leyte RTC but the Supreme Court has ordered the lawsuits transferred to Metro Manila based on the request of the prosecution and defense camps for security reasons.