The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is set to respond to the denials of alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and his co-respondents over their alleged involvement in the narcotics trade in Easter Visayas from 2011 to 2016.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) said the panel of prosecutors conducting the preliminary investigation on the case said Espinosa and 11 of his co-respondents have filed counter-affidavits last March 2 to refute the allegations against them.
With this, the panel gave the NBI until March 30 to file a joint reply to the counter-affidavits filed by the respondents.
Aside from Espinosa, those who filed counter-affidavits were Police Brig. Gen. Asher Dolina, Police Maj. Wilfredo C. Abordo, Police Capt. Bernie Magamay, Police Staff Sergeant Roberto Arafol, Police Corporal Marvin Parac, Police Chief Master Sergeant Eduardo Betuin, Martin L. Espina, Marites S. Ang, Police Colonel Elizar Egloso, Police Captain Eufracio Javines, Viberca Diano.
However, 14 other co-respondents of Espinosa failed to file counter-affidavits and were given more time to file until March 30.
The panel is currently conducting a preliminary investigation of the complaint filed by the NBI which accused the respondents of having violated the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The NBI alleged that the respondents were involved in large scale trafficking of shabu even while Espinosa was detained at the Ormoc City Jail from May 2011 to July 2013 for charges of illegal possession of firearms and frustrated murder.