Espino accepts Duterte’s apology over drug matrix
Pangasinan Rep. Amado Espino Jr. on Tuesday accepted the apology of President Rodrigo Duterte for linking him to the alleged drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison.
In a statement, the former Pangasinan governor said he was humbled by the apology Duterte issued after the latter included Espino in the drug matrix.
Duterte admitted not verifying the drug matrix that linked Espino, board member Raul Sison and former provincial administrator Raffy Baraan to the alleged drug trade activities at the national penitentiary implicating Senator Leila De Lima.
“I would like to apologize publicly. I am sorry,” Duterte on Tuesday said during an inspection of the shabu laboratory in Arayat, Pampanga.
“Insofar as the drugs, I think that somehow we were negligent in counter-checking the first report. So kay (to) Espino and even to Sison and to Baraan… I would like to apologize to you publicly,” he added.
“I am humbled by the pronouncement of the President today clearing my involvement on the alleged drug matrix… I kept my silence for the past three weeks as I know beyond reasonable doubt that I am not guilty of this allegation,” Espino said in his statement.
“Today, my family, friends, and the people of Pangasinan would like to express our gratitude to the President for being a true leader and a gentleman. He has my highest esteem for the courageous and bold statement of apology clearing my name, Raffy Baraan and Raul Sison,” he added.
Espino said he met with Duterte last Aug. 30 when the President promised to have the matrix revalidated.
“Although my family and the people of Pangasinan were saddened by this unprecedented accusation, we remained steadfast on our respect and high regard on the discretion of the President, and relied completely on his promised revalidation,” Espino said. RAM/rga
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