Sandra Cam to De Lima: Sorry, I was used | Inquirer News

Sandra Cam to De Lima: Sorry, I was used

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 05:38 AM January 20, 2023

Two days after gaining her freedom, whistleblower Sandra Cam apologized to former Sen. Leila de Lima, admitting that she “was used as a tool” for the imprisonment of the former justice secretary that led to her almost six years of continued detention.

“I witnessed and shared her hardships of being unjustly imprisoned. I have asked for her forgiveness and I have expressed regret over my mistakes. And the restoration of our friendship is more important than politics,” Cam, flanked by her lawyers, said at a press briefing in Makati City on Wednesday.


According to Cam, she was “an instrument in obtaining evidence used against De Lima,” especially during the inquiries into the drug trading in New Bilibid Prison conducted by both the House of Representatives and Senate in 2016.


She also claimed it was because of her that confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa—one of those who implicated De Lima in the Bilibid drug trading—was brought home to the country after he was arrested by authorities in Abu Dhabi upon the tip of his employee in October 2016.

De Lima tagged former President Rodrigo Duterte as the mastermind of the charges against her, which she called “manufactured” and “politically motivated,” after she led the investigations in the so-called “Davao Death Squad” when he was mayor of Davao City, and the killings in his “drug war” during his six-year term.

Cell neighbors

De Lima was her “cell neighbor” when Cam was committed to the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame for murder and frustrated murder charges for the killing of Batuan town, Masbate Vice Mayor Charlie Yuson III, and the wounding of two of his companions on Oct. 10, 2019, in Manila.

In a 56-page decision promulgated on Monday, Judge Dinnah Aguila Topacio of Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 42 acquitted Cam, coaccused son Marco Martin Cam and former Batuan Vice Mayor Nelson Cambaya “for failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.”

According to Cam, her friendship with De Lima was rekindled during her 10-month detention, and became “stronger” after De Lima was held hostage by one of three members of the Abu Sayyaf group, her fellow detainees who had tried to escape in October last year.

“I told her to be strong. You will be free soon, just keep the faith in God,” she told De Lima.


Cam hoped that justice would also be served to De Lima, especially since key prosecution witnesses in the cases have recanted their statements.

De Lima’s Thanks

In a statement from her detention cell on Thursday, De Lima accepted Cam’s apology and thanked her for clearing her name.

“I welcome Ms Sandra Cam’s disclosure that she was also just used by those who persecuted and imprisoned me. As her former co-PDL (person deprived of liberty) inside the PNP Custodial Center, I have been a witness to her suffering, given her medical condition during her detention,” she said.

“Truth and justice, no matter how long it takes, will always prevail,” she said.

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Cam’s beef with De Lima goes back to 2012, when the two former friends had a falling out after Cam claimed that De Lima, as former justice secretary, became “selective” on who could be admitted to the Witness Protection Program. Cam had accused De Lima of turning down whistleblowers who would testify against allies of the administration.

It was Cam who first bared that De Lima had “illicit affairs,” and even threatened to show her three sex videos. De Lima had denied the charges.


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TAGS: Leila de Lima, Sandra Cam

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