SENATOR Leila de Lima said that it is a “no brainer” why suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa is linking her to the drug trade in the country: It is part of the grand plan of her detractors.
De Lima made the remark when asked to comment on some reports that Espinosa will identify her as among the government officials who allegedly “collected” drug money from him.
Espinosa, in a recent conversation with Sen. Manny Pacquiao, which the latter videotaped, claimed that De Lima received payola from him through her former driver-lover Ronnie Dayan. Espinosa is set to testify in today’s resumption of the investigation into the killing of his father, Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.
The elder Espinosa was killed last Nov. 5 in an alleged shootout with CIDG (Criminal Investigation Detection Group) operatives in his cell at the Baybay, Leyte subprovincial jail after the lawmen supposedly tried to serve him a search warrant for firearm and illegal drugs.
“What did I tell you? Kasi alam n’yo no brainer talaga ‘yan na tinatanong ako di ba na bakit ‘alam mo na idadawit ka ni Kerwin Espinosa?’ Eh, no brainer ‘yan. Huwag na tayong maglokohan,” said De Lima in a chance interview.
“Talaga namang expected na ‘yan na ituturo na naman ako katulad ng mga naging witness sa House inquiry, saka ipinalagay nga ako doon sa supposed affidavit ng kanyang (napatay na) ama, si (Albuera, Leyte) Mayor (Rolando) Espinosa. So, kasama ‘yan diyan sa grand plan nila na lahat na lang tungkol sa droga ay ikakabit nila kay Sen. Leila de Lima,” she said.
She added: “Kasi ang tawag po sa akin ng ating Pangulo (Rodrigo Duterte), ay ako na raw ang leading narco politician dito sa bansang ito dahil ako nga daw po ang dahilan bakit narco state na daw po ang Pilipinas. Hindi ko alam kung alam niya ang pinagsasabi niya na narco state na ang Pilipinas. Hindi ko alam kung naiitindihan po ng ating Pangulo kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng narco state.”
Asked in a radio interview about his reaction when Espinosa named De Lima as one of the recipients of drug money, Pacquiao said: “Nuong kinuwento niya mabuti ‘yung about kay Leila de Lima hindi ko nga alam na may…‘yung kwento kasi ni Kerwin sa akin pinapunta siya sa Baguio. Tapos, ngayon ko lang nalaman na may picture pala sila (sa Baguio).”
Kerwin claimed that Dayan had told him to go to Baguio to prove that it was indeed De Lima who had been asking money from him. “Pinapunta daw siya don sa Baguio. Sinabi sa akin na may picture sila ni Kerwin dun sa Baguio. Pinakita sa akin kanina. So, nagtugma ‘yung sinabi ni Kerwin sa akin.”
“Pinapanindigan na lang po nila ‘yan dahil ‘yan po ang gusto ng Pangulo lahat tungkol sa droga dito sa Pilipinas ay ikakabit, idadawit si Sen Leila de Lima. So, ano pa ba naman ‘yan si Kerwin Espinosa? Pinatay nila ‘yung ang tatay, pinatay na rin nila ‘yung ibang identified with him. So, walang choice si Kerwin Espinosa,” said De Lima.
She hopes that her fellow senators would not further embarrass her during the hearing. “Sana naman huwag na nilang dagdagan ‘yung kalbaryo ko na baka naman may iba diyan magiisip na pagkakataon na naman na pahiyain ako, na to make me feel very uncomfortable. In the first place, it would unparliamentary on their part, to be insulting or offending a fellow member of the Senate.”
Asked whether she will attend today’s public hearing on the killing of Mayor Espinosa, De Lima said: “Yes, I will because I’m a member and this is just a continuation of the inquiry into the killing of Mayor Espinosa.”
“I was present and I participated during the first hearing and I will be present again in tomorrow’s hearing. Sa ngayon wala akong balak magtanong sa kanya,” she said.