Ex-village chief yields, posts bail for graft raps 

By Jennifer P. Rendon 

Former Barangay Captain Keith “Dabing” Espinosa of Barangay Monica-Blumentritt, City Proper in Iloilo City, was deemed arrested for graft charges afternoon of Sept 3, 2022.

But Espinosa did not spend a second inside the detention cell after she immediately posted a P90,000 bail.

On Saturday morning, members of the Iloilo City Police Station 1 went to her last known address to serve a warrant of arrest for violation of  Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Judge Ma. Theresa Enriquez Gaspar of the Regional Trial Court Branch 33 in Iloilo City issued the arrest warrant which was received by ICPS1 on Sept 1.

But Espinosa could not be located. No resident also offered information on her whereabouts, ICPS1 chief Major Shella Mae Sangrines said.

But early afternoon of the same day, Espinosa and her brother-in-law appeared at ICPS1.

They then posted bail.

“She was processed like an ordinary arrested person. Her mug shot was taken and has undergone fingerprinting,” Sangrines said.

After that, Espinosa was free to go.

Sangrines said Espinosa’s warrant of arrest could have stemmed from an anti-illegal drug operation on Oct. 2, 2016.

“But we have to check on that,” she said.

It appeared that the police anti-illegal drug raid targeted her husband, former Barangay Kagawad Jesus “Jing-Jing” Espinosa Jr.

On Oct. 20, 2016, Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) filed charges against Dabing Espinosa, and barangay kagawad (village councilmen) Arturo Atinado and Amadeo Atinado before the Office of the Ombudsman for the Visayas.

Then police officer Ramir Gallardo, Focus Team leader of the now-defunct Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operation Task Group 6 (RAIDSOTG-6), slapped them with charges for obstruction of justice, corrupt practices, grave misconduct, conduct unbecoming, and irregularity in the performance of duty under Section 1 paragraphs (e) and (h) of PD 1829 under Sections 3 (a) of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) and other pertinent rules and regulations.

The three village officials allegedly refused to sign the certification as witnesses in the implementation of the search warrant and the inventory of seized illegal items.

More than two years later, Espinosa opted to vacate her post.

In a letter dated Nov. 25, 2018 addressed to then Mayor Jose Espinosa III of Iloilo City, Espinosa tendered her irrevocable resignation as punong barangay of Barangay Monica, Iloilo City effectively immediately.

This came after the former mayor “had disapproved my request for extension of leave of absence without citing any reason or legal basis.”