Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and his family have been placed under police custody at the municipal police station here.
Chief Insp. Jovie Espinido, Albuera police chief, said the mayor is now staying at the police station after he sought “protective custody” due to reported threats after his son Kerwin’s lawyer Rogelio Bato Jr. and his teenage female companion were shot dead by unidentified men last Wednesday in Tacloban City.
Espinido said that Mayor Espinosa and his family had earlier been staying at the municipal hall.
Police officials have provided a double bed for the mayor and his relatives and an air-conditioning unit would be installed in their room at the police station, a source added.
This developed as the mayor and two of his alleged goons were ordered by the city prosecutor’s office in Ormoc City to answer the murder charges filed against them for the killing of a retired policeman.
The two other suspects are Alfred Christian Batistis and Leonardo Bolinio de la Cruz alias Daot, the alleged gunmen who shot retired Senior Police Officer 4 Alfredo Bucabuca Sr. in Barangay Macabug, Ormoc City last May 23.
Rita Judy Pedoy, the city prosecutor’s office process server, said Espenido had volunteered to serve the subpoena to the mayor.
An eyewitness and an accomplice to the ambush have pinpointed the mayor and the two suspects as being behind Bucabuca’s death.
Barangay Binolho village councilor Nelson Pepito Jr., also Espinosa’s driver, in his affidavit said that for political reasons, Espinosa ordered him and the two suspects to find a way to kill Bucabuca sometime in the second week of May.
The witness Pepito said that when they received a tip that Bucabuca went to Ormoc City, the plan was hatched to ambush him at Barangay Macabug where there was a bottleneck due to a bridge construction.
The witness said he was the lookout and gave the signal to the two men that Bucabuca’s car was approaching.
He added that the killers went into hiding after the murder.
Bucabuca was the bodyguard of the former town mayor whom Espinosa defeated.
He was also the complainant against former town councilor Sergio Batistis Jr. who was caught in an entrapment in Davao City for selling fake Philippine Councilor’s League official receipts and certificates of attendance.
The subpoena on the two alleged hitmen were served by the prosecutor’s office at Barangay Binolho here.