De Lima seeks probe on Espinosa’s alleged attempted escape, laments always being dragged into any reports about him


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   Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima called for a thorough probe on the recent alleged foiled escape of confessed drug lord Rolan “Kerwin” Espinosa and two other Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) facility.

  De Lima said authorities must seek enough evidence to find out if there was indeed an attempt to escape and learn the motive behind it.

  “On Espinosa’s reported foiled escape and his reported denial thereof, I call for a thorough probe on this. Did he or did he not attempt or plan to escape? If such attempt is confirmed by evidence, investigators must dig deeper. What could be his motivation, particularly in light of the recent junking by the court of one of his cases?” she asked.

“There might be more to this than meets the eye,” she added.

NBI officer-in-charge Eric Distor said Espinosa and two other detainees, whom he did not identify, tried to escape on Jan. 13 by passing through the air vent of the bureau’s detention facility on Taft Avenue.

  On the same night, they inspected the jail, where they saw a deformed exhaust fan, which when removed exposed a hole fit for a detainee to escape.

Notably, a Makati court in December junked one of the government’s cases against Espinosa for supposedly failing to prove with sufficient evidence his alleged conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading.

De Lima, the most prominent political prisoner of the Duterte regime, lamented how her name has always been dragged whenever Espinosa makes the news, for no other reason than that he once lied about bribing her in the past.

“By now, I should be used to being unjustly used as a distraction from the government’s multitude of failures and controversies. But no one should ever get used to being a victim. So let two things be remembered,” she said.

First off, De Lima said that “at the time Espinosa falsely testified against me, his father had just been killed while under detention – in one of the rare incidents that everyone, including many of my colleagues in the Senate, agrees is a classic case of EJK.”

  Second, and lastly, De Lima stressed that the case against her arising from Espinosa’s false statements has long been dismissed for utter lack of evidence by the DOJ.

  “For an agency that has supported the other drug cases it did file against me with the flimsiest of evidence, such as the testimonies of criminal convicts, that is saying something about the incredibility of Espinosa’s story. End of story as far as I am concerned,” she noted.

“For, indeed, the story about me having received 8M from Espinosa was pure concoction. How could I have received anything from him or dealt with him in any manner when I don’t even know him from Adam?”, De Lima asked.

Espinosa falsely testified in congressional hearings that De Lima was part of the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) when she was Justice Secretary during the Aquino administration – an accusation she has vehemently denied.

 De Lima remains detained over trumped-up illegal drug charges filed against her by the Duterte government. Muntinlupa RTC, Branch 205 earlier granted her demurrer to evidence in Case Number 17-166, marking her acquittal in one of the three bogus cases which she called a “moral victory.” (30)

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