UAE repatriates Kerwin Espinosa, son of Philippine mayor killed in jail; Duterte 'wants him alive'

'I ask forgiveness from President Duterte,' says Kerwin, whose father was shot dead inside a prison cell.

UAE repatriates Kerwin Espinosa, son of Philippine mayor killed in jail; Duterte 'wants him alive'
Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa (R) points to Kerwin Espinosa (L), who according to police is a top drug lord in the central Philippines, following his surrender to authorities, during a news conference at the PNP headquarters in Quezon city, Metro Manila, Philippines November 18, 2016. REUTERS/Ezra Acayan

Alleged Filipino drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, who was arrested in Abu Dhabi last month, has been repatriated to the Philippines. Kerwin, the son of an ex-mayor who was shot inside a prison cell a fortnight ago, has offered to reveal all he knows about the drug trade, reports say.

Kerwin, who is number two on a Philippines most wanted list for drug offences, was taken to Manila, where he is expected to reveal his links to the narcotics trade and throw light into the big actors.

Kerwin is the son of Philippine mayor Rolando Espinosa who was killed inside a prison cell earlier this month. Officials said he was taken directly to police headquarters in Camp Crame. His extradition to the Philippines is expected to add further thrust to President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drug campaign.

"(Philippine) President (Rodrigo) Duterte ordered us to protect him. He needs Kerwin alive," said Sandra Cam, president of Whistleblowers Association of the Philippines, told the Khaleej Times.

Philippine National police chief Ronald dela Rosa escorted Kerwin Espinosa to Manila from the Al Wathba Jail in Abu Dhabi.

After reaching Manila, Kerwin apologized to president Duterte and his country. "I ask forgiveness from President Duterte ... Whatever I have done in the past, I hope he can give me a chance to lead a new life," he said, according to the Associated Press.

His father Rolando Espinosa, who was formerly mayor of Albuera, was shot dead inside the Baybay City provincial jail earlier this month. Police said he was killed following an exchange of fire but it's widely believed that it was an intentional killing, part of Duterte's policy of extra judicial killings to eliminate the drug menace.

Espinosa was clearly mentioned in Duterte's list as one of the politicians who are linked to the illegal drug trade. He was arrested in October for illegal drug possession.

Since Duterte won the election and took office on 30 June, the Philippine law enforcement and vigilante groups have killed more than 3,800 people as part of a campaign against drugs, which apparently will save the country.

While around 1,500 alleged drug peddlers died in police operations, others were killed by armed vigilante publicly encouraged by Duterte.