DOJ mulls perjury case vs Kerwin Espinosa for retracting affidavit vs De Lima | Inquirer News
Close  

DOJ mulls perjury case vs Kerwin Espinosa for retracting affidavit vs De Lima

/ 03:50 PM April 29, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) is looking at a possible perjury case against self-confessed drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa, who took back his testimony connecting Senator Leila de Lima, a staunch Duterte critic, to the illegal drug trade.

ADVERTISEMENT

DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Friday he will discuss the matter of filing a perjury charge against Espinosa with the panel of prosecutors handling the case.

“Whether or not his testimony is material to the prosecution’s cause, making false statements under oath is a criminal offense,” Guevarra said when asked if they are inclined to rap Espinosa for his retraction.

FEATURED STORIES

DOJ Undersecretary Adrian Sugay echoed this, stressing that Espinosa’s initial testimony was made under oath.

“Tinitingnan ‘yan ngayon ng ating Office of Prosecutor General, kung puwede ngang makasuhan [ng perjury], kasi nga magkaiba ‘yung kaniyang naging statement,” Sugay said during the Laging Handa briefing.

(The Office of Prosecutor General is looking into it now if he can be charged with perjury because his statements were different.)

Sugay said Espinosa’s statements were “inconsistent.”

“I think that is something Mr. Espinosa has to contend with. He has to answer ‘yung issue na ‘yan. Anong nangyari? Bakit ganun? (What happened?)” Sugay said.

“Baka nga mayroong liability si Espinosa (Maybe Espinosa has a liability), but that is something he will have to contend with and he will have to address and something that he has to deal with eventually,” he added.

In his counter-affidavit submitted before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday, Espinosa said that his previous statements against De Lima were “false and was the result of pressure, coercion, intimidation, and serious threats to his life and family members from the police who instructed him to implicate the Senator into the illegal drug trade.”

ADVERTISEMENT

READ: Key witness vs De Lima recants, bares coercion

Espinosa said the contents of the December 14, 2016 affidavit he signed were not explained to him by a counsel of his own choice.

Espinosa likewise apologized to De Lima, a fierce critic of President Rodrigo Duterte. The senator has been in detention since February 2017 over what she has repeatedly branded as “trumped-up” drug charges.

READ: Kerwin Espinosa recants drug trade accusations vs Sen. Leila de Lima

Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento earlier said Espinosa’s retraction has no effect on the government’s case against de Lima.

READ: Espinosa retraction won’t affect cases vs De Lima, says Palace

De Lima’s legal counsel, meanwhile, expressed hopes that other witnesses who were “intimidated, coerced, and bribed into making false accusations” against the legislator would also “come out and confess.”

KGA

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: DoJ, Kerwin Espinosa, Leila de Lima, Menardo Guevarra, Perjury
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.