De Lima’s camp welcomes another witness recantation on drug trade, urges DOJ to review and dismiss her remaining cases


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Senator Leila M. de Lima’s camp welcomed the recent counter-affidavit of Marcelo Adorco recanting his previous statement in relation to the illegal drug trade.

 Atty. Filibon “Boni” Tacardon, one of De Lima’s legal counsels, said Adorco’s recantation only highlighted the pattern of witnesses admitting to being threatened and coerced to tell lies and pin people down, including the Senator. 

“Sa tingin namin, sumasalamin ito sa matagal na naming sinasabi na ang mga kaso laban kay Senator De Lima ay pawang gawa-gawa lamang ng mga taong tinakot at ginipit para gumawa ng kasinungalingan at palabasin na si Senator De Lima ay sangkot sa bentahan ng ilegal na droga,” Tacardon said

“Lumalabas na ang totoo kaya patuloy ang panawagan namin sa DOJ na muling suriin ang mga kasong isinampa nila laban kay Senator De Lima at tuluyan nang ibasura ito at palayain ang mahal nating Senadora,” he added.

In his counter-affidavits filed at the Department of Justice (DOJ) last May 24, 2022 and August 28, 2020, Adorco recanted his allegations in his 2016 and 2017 affidavits admitting his involvement in the illegal drug trade while dragging the names of several personalities, including Kerwin Espinosa.

Ang totoo niyan, napilitan lamang akong pirmahan ang nasabing Affidavit dahil sa pangamba sa aking buhay at kaligtasan,” he said, stressing that his initial affidavits were made by a police officer from the Albuera Police Station in Leyte allegedly upon the orders of the former Albuera Police Chief Jovie Espenido.  

            It may be recalled that Espinosa falsely testified in Senate hearings that De Lima was involved in illegal drug trade as then Justice Secretary during the Aquino administration – an accusation she has vehemently denied.

In a counter-affidavit filed at the DOJ on April 28 this year, Espinosa recanted his previous allegations and said he had no dealings with De Lima.

Meanwhile, in Adorco’s 2020 counter-affidavit, he denied personally knowing De Lima, and that he had no personal knowledge about the alleged meeting of De Lima and Espinosa in Baguio City.

Hindi ko po kilala sina Lovely Impal, Peter Co, Peter Lim at Secretary Leila De Lima. Hindi ko po sila nakita at nakausap kahit minsan. ‘Yong picture po ni Kerwin Espinosa at ni Hazel Magno kasama ni Secretary Leila De Lima ay nakuha po ‘yon galing sa Facebook at binigay lamang sa akin ng isang pulis noong ginawa ang aking affidavit. Wala po akong personal na kaalaman sa sinasabing pagkikita raw ni Kerwin at ni Secretary De Lima sa Baguio,” Adorco said.  

De Lima said she is hopeful that more people would come out and speak the truth to help prove her innocence from all the trumped-up drug charges filed against her.

“As Duterte, the mastermind behind my unjust detention, is about to step down from power, we’ve seen the pattern of personalities finally speaking the truth and finding it in their conscience to retract their allegations implicating me in the illegal drug trade,” she said.

“Gaya ng lagi kong sinasabi: Naipakulong man nila ako, hinding-hindi nila maikukulong ang katotohanan na ako ay inosente. Lagi’t laging lalabas at mananaig ang katotohanan at hustisya,” De Lima added.

Aside from Adorco and Espinosa’s recantation, former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Officer-in-Charge Rafael Ragos and De Lima’s former aide Ronnie Dayan also recanted their allegations against her, claiming that they have been coerced and threatened by state agents and key government officials of the Duterte Administration.

During the last hearing in one of the two (2) trumped-up drug cases against De Lima before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 256, Prosecution witness, convicted murderer Joel Capones, on cross examination, also denied personally knowing and transacting with De Lima and Dayan.

De Lima has consistently and firmly asserted her innocence in the cases filed against her. Due to lack of evidence, one of the three trumped-up drug charges against her has already been dismissed, which she called a “moral victory.” The two other cases are still pending. (30)

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