Pangasinan Rep. Espino denies alleged drug ties
DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines — Pangasinan Rep. Amado Espino III on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, denied he was involved in the sale of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), saying he was surprised that his name was in the drug matrix released by President Duterte.
“I am completely taken aback by this most recent pronouncement coming from no less than the President himself, that among others, [former] provincial administrator Rafael Baraan are included in the… drug matrix,” said Espino in a news conference here.
The drug matrix showed the supposed connections between Senator Leila de Lima, Espino and other officials in an alleged drug supply network inside the NBP.
“I have never been friendly with Senator De Lima, especially since she was instrumental in pursuing the investigation of a fabricated murder case against me at the height of the elections in 2012 to 2013,” Espino said.
The lawmaker said the last time he met De Lima was in 2013 when they both served as wedding sponsors in a Pangasinan town.
“It is public knowledge that I am staunchly against illegal drugs and even worked hard for the passage of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, as one of its main authors,” Espino said.
He said that during his three-term stint as Pangasinan governor, he was relentless in his anti-illegal drugs campaign.
Baraan’s brother: Inclusion in drug matrix a big joke
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.