Alleged drug lord asks forgiveness from Duterte after return from Abu Dhabi

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 November, 2016, 2:21pm
UPDATED : Friday, 18 November, 2016, 10:14pm

A suspected Filipino drug lord, whose father was killed in an alleged gun fight in prison, was repatriated on 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 Jnr 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 Snr, was arrested last month. He had agreed to cooperate with officials but was killed on November 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 apologised 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.

Duterte said he might follow Russia’s example and withdraw from the International Criminal Court, where his critics say he could be charged over the thousands killed in his war on drugs.

An ICC prosecutor last month said the Hague-based tribunal may have jurisdiction to prosecute the perpetrators of the killings. He said other countries, namely the US, are worse. “The killings is endless,” he said, referring to conflicts in the past and current. “The amount is splattering … Just because it is America, it does not mean that it is good.”

Duterte also said the United Nations has been unsuccessful in stopping wars. He said if China and Russia decide to create a new world order, he would be the first to join them and leave the UN, which he said is dominated by the US.

“You know, if China and Russia would decide to create a new order, I would be the first to join,” he said, adding that he would quit the UN.

Additional reporting by Reuters