The Duterte administration on Friday said self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa’s retraction of his allegations linking Sen. Leila de Lima to illegal drugs would not affect the pending cases against the detained senator.
“While Kerwin Espinosa appears to have recanted his allegations against Sen. Leila de Lima, his recantation will not have any effect on the pending criminal cases against the lady senator,” acting Palace spokesman Martin Andanar said in a statement.
“We have to underscore what the prosecutor general said — Mr. Espinosa is not a state witness,” Andanar added.
Espinosa recanted his allegations against De Lima in a counter-affidavit filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday, in which he said he made up the stories due to pressure from the police.
“Any statement he made against the senator are false and was the result only of pressure, coercion, intimidation, and serious threats to his life and family members from the police who instructed him to implicate the senator into the illegal drug trade,” his counter-affidavit read.
Espinosa had claimed he had paid De Lima drug money through Ronnie Dayan, a former bodyguard of the senator.
De Lima has been detained since Feb. 24, 2017 for alleged links to the drug trade when she was secretary of the DOJ.
She was acquitted in one of her three cases last year due to lack of evidence. John Ezekiel J. Hirro