Jovie Espenido, Albuera Police Chief, said he was not after destroying Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez’s name by involving him to the illegal drug trade.
Chief Inspector Espenido said that he couldn’t stop Gomez from suing him but denied the he was after the mayor.
The chief Inspector stated that he was simply relaying what the late Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Jr. had testified that Gomez received money from Kerwin when Gomez was still the chief of staff of Rep. Lucy Torrez of Leyte’s 4th district.
Espenido added that it was Espinosa’s son, Kerwin, who was the basis of accusation against Gomez but he didn’t file a case against him because there is no witness on the actual receiving of money.
Espenido said that if he was out to humiliate Gomez, he could have manufactured a witness against him.
According to Espenido, it was Chief Insp. Leo Laraga who brought up Gomez’s name in the Senate hearing of Mayor Espinosa’s death in an alleged shootout with Criminal Investigation and Detection Group operatives, Eastern Visayas last November 5.
Laraga stressed in the hearing that Sen. Leila de Lima has been accused by Espinosa of receiving P8 million from Kerwin and had several witness against her.
However, according to Espenido, Mayor Espinosa did not personally saw Gomez receiving money from his son but merely heard the story from him.
Espenido also added that Espinosa has given 90 names of government and police officials but only half of them were charged because of lack of witness that could claim against them.
“As he (Gomez) observed, we have not filed a case against him (because) of lack of (solid) evidence,” Espenido said. “We would not file a case if it’s weak.”
Mayor Gomez posted on his Facebook account that he believed late Mayor Espinosa was just prevailed upon Espenido to link him to the illegal drug trade of Kerwin.
Gomez wrote on his Facebook, “It is unfortunate that he was assigned to Albuera, Leyte, giving him control over the late Mayor Espinosa, whom I am sure he prevailed upon to impute my character and those of other equally innocent officials.”
Gomez also gave emphasis on not being part of any illegal drug trade and never will he be.