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De Lima: Kerwin may also end up dead

Sen. Leila de Lima and suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa INQUIRER PHOTOS

Sen. Leila de Lima and Kerwin Espinosa INQUIRER PHOTOS

Sen. Leila de Lima warned on Sunday suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa that he might end up dead like his father, slain Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., even if he cooperated with authorities.

De Lima said this was her “advice” to the younger Espinosa, reportedly the biggest drug lord in Eastern Visayas and whom authorities brought home on Friday from Abu Dhabi where he had gone into hiding.

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Espinosa is set to testify on Wednesday at the resumption of the Senate inquiry into the killing of his father at the hands of policemen inside a subprovincial jail in Baybay, Leyte, on Nov.5.

“Don’t ever think that your ‘cooperation’ will spare you your life. Sooner or later this government is going to make sure you end up like your father,” De Lima said of Espinosa.

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“I make the same prediction for Jaybee Sebastian,” De Lima said in a text message.

De Lima was referring this time to Sebastian, an inmate at New Bilibid Prison (NBP), who testified at a House inquiry into the illegal drug trade at NBP that he gave her drug protection money when she was justice secretary.

Sebastian’s testimony against De Lima came a few weeks after the inmate survived a stabbing incident inside the NBP.

De Lima has repeatedly denied accusations by President Duterte and his men that she coddled drug lords inside NBP and accepted their drug money.

She accused Mr. Duterte of being behind moves to persecute her in retaliation to her having investigated him for allegedly leading the Davao Death Squad (DDS) in Davao City when he was mayor. De Lima was then chair of the Commission on Human Rights.

Espinosa’s father was killed after allegedly fighting off operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) out to serve a search warrant on him.

The death of the Albuera mayor came two months after he executed an affidavit naming people, including De Lima, who he and his son had allegedly dealt with and paid off in their illegal drug business.

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For “security reasons,” Wednesday’s hearing will be held in Camp Crame in Quezon City where Espinosa is detained, according to Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who is leading the inquiry.

‘Very shocking’

Sen. Manny Pacquiao said that he was able to personally speak to Espinosa last Friday after the latter requested to see him.

Asked whether Espinosa revealed to him things about his illegal drug trade, Pacquiao said the former said “a lot” of things to him that he found “very shocking.”

But Pacquiao refrained from revealing what Espinosa had told him as he noted that the latter would have an affidavit and was “willing” and “ready” to testify on Wednesday. But the senator said among those Espinosa had named were government and elected officials.

“He told me that they killed his father so that he would not talk, that he would keep quiet. But now he said he will tell all on those dealing with them and accepted [drug money],” Pacquiao said of Espinosa.

Pacquiao said he found Espinosa’s story believable because the latter gave details.

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TAGS: Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., Drugs, Kerwin Espinosa, Leila de Lima, Philippine news updates
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