Pacquiao wants speedy resolution of De Lima cases | Inquirer News

Pacquiao wants speedy resolution of De Lima cases

/ 04:29 PM April 29, 2022

Pacquiao wants speedy resolution of De Lima cases

FILE PHOTO: Senator Manny Pacquiao. INQUIRER

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential candidate Senator Manny Pacquiao on Friday called for the immediate resolution of the drug charges filed against Senator Leila de Lima, saying those cases have “dragged on for so long.”

Pacquiao was reacting to the news that Kerwin Espinosa recently retracted his allegations linking the detained lady senator to the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison.


“Kailangan tapusin na ang kasong iyan dahil matagal-tagal na rin nakakulong ang ating senador. Kumbaga pangit naman kung inosente siyang tao matapos na ikulong siya ng matagal,” the world boxing champion-turned-politician told reporters in an interview in Leyte, where he brought his presidential campaign.


(It’s time to put an end to that case because it has dragged on for so long yet our senator is in jail. It’s terrible if she is innocent after being jailed for a long time.)

“There’s no reason na tatagal pa ang kaso. Siguro enough na ang time na lumipas. Ilang taon na ba ang nakalipas?” he added.

(There’s no reason for the case to drag on. I think enough time has passed. How many years have passed?)

Pacquiao also said he will review the video-taped interview he had with Espinosa—which has been preserved on his phone—to determine whether he was lying then or now.

READ: Pacquiao visits Kerwin Espinosa in Camp Crame

“Re-reviewhin ko lang iyong statement niya. Pero doon sa sinasabi niya, mukhang nagsasabi siya ng totoo,” the senator said.


(I will review his statement. But it seems he was telling the truth.)

Pacquiao further said Espinosa may have lost his credibility as a witness for retracting his accusations.

“Lahat pwedeng magsabi na tinakot pero iyang problema niyan ay siya lang ang nakakaalam,” he added.

(Everybody can say they were coerced but only he knows the truth.)

The counter-affidavit signed by Espinosa and submitted recently to the Department of Justice (DOJ) reads: “Any statement he (Espinosa) made against the Senator (De Lima) are 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.”

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

De Lima and her legal counsel called on others who were “intimidated, coerced, and bribed into making false accusations” against the legislator to also “come out and confess.”

READ: ‘Malapit na ang hustisya,’ De Lima says after Espinosa backtracks

Meanwhile, Malacañang on Thursday said it believes Espinosa’s retraction “will not have any effect” on the pending cases against De Lima, noting that he is “not a state witness.”

But Espinosa was admitted into the Witness Protection Program in 2017 by the Department of Justice as a witness against de Lima. He was only removed from the program in February this year.

De Lima, a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, has been detained since February 2017 over what she has repeatedly branded as “trumped-up” drug charges.

The Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 205 earlier granted her demurrer to evidence in Case Number 17-166, marking her acquittal in one of the three cases, which she called a “moral victory.”


De Lima’s ex-driver belies transporting drug money: Remarks to Pacquiao made ‘under duress’

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

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