NBI seeks transfer of Kerwin Espinosa detention to ‘more secured’ jail facility

Kerwin Espinosa

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to transfer to a "more secured" detention facility alleged drug lord Rolan “Kerwin” Espinosa whose reported attempt to escape was foiled last Jan. 13.

Espinosa has pending criminal cases before the Manila regional trial court and in the courts in Leyte.

There are 79 detainees at the NBI Detention Center in Manila facing various criminal offenses.

In a statement, the NBI said it wanted to transfer Espinosa to a more secured facility of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Taguig City.

Espinosa and two other detainees attempted to escape from the NBI’s detention centers in Manila “through the hole of the exhaust fan at the ceiling,” the NBI said.

It said the escape was foiled because of the “swift and timely” action of the newly-designated chief of the Security Management Section (NBI-SMS) and his executive officer.

As early as last Jan. 18, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra had considered the transfer of Espinosa to another detention facility.

“We believe that Kerwin Espinosa should be transferred to a more secured detention facility in view of the numerous cases that he is currently facing,” Guevarra said.

If Espinosa will be transferred to another detention facility outside of the NBI jail center, “we shall need commitment orders from the courts where his cases are being tried,” he said.

NBI Officer-in-Charge Director Eric B. Distor said Espinosa’s transfer is aimed at “complying with the security and safety protocols of Kerwin Espinosa as a witness under the Witness Protection Program while in the custody of the government and at the same time as an Accused appearing at cases pending in different courts.”

Distor said the BJMP has ample security facilities equipped to hold a high-profile prisoner like Espinosa.