PNP arrests Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — A town mayor linked by President Rodrigo Duterte to the illegal drug trade was arrested by police Wednesday.

Rolando Espinosa, Sr., 54, mayor of the town of Albuera in the central Philippine province of Leyte was taken into custody and charged with illegal possession of dangerous drugs and firearms, following a warrant for his arrest issued by the Baybay City Regional Trial Court Branch 14 on Tuesday.

No bail bond was recommended.

In the warrant of arrest, the mayor's son Roland "Kerwin" Espinosa was also ordered arrested. The younger Espinosa remains at large and police said he is believed to have fled to Malaysia.

Mayor Espinosa was among the local government officials identified  by President Duterte as protectors of illegal drug activities.

The arrest came almost two months after authorities seized 11 kilogram of shabu worth ₱88-million (USD 1.8 million) and ingredients used for making bombs in a raid on Espinosa's house last August 10.

Prior to the raid, on August 2, Espinosa turned himself in to police at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, fearing for his life as President Duterte announced a 24-hour ultimatum for him and his son to surrender or be shot.

Espinosa admitted to PNP Chief Roland Dela Rosa that Kerwin was involved in illegal drug activities in Visayas, the group of islands in the central Philippines. The mayor also said his son acquired his supply of illegal drugs from detained drug lord Peter Co and from a local prison in the town of Abuyog in Leyte. Espinosa returned to his hometown in Leyte on August 16, closely monitored by police.