Suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa on Wednesday claimed that he gave around P8 million for Senator Leila De Lima’s election campaign through her driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan.
Making his disclosure before senators, Espinosa said he gave money to De Lima’s former driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan in several instances in 2015 until early 2016.
Espinosa made the allegation during the Senate committee on public order’s probe into the death of Espinosa’s father — Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, who was killed in a bloody search operation inside a jail on November 5.
During the Senate probe, Espinosa claimed that in exchange for the P8 million he gave to De Lima, he will allegedly receive “protection” from the senator, who was then Secretary of the Department of Justice.
Espinosa said he initially hesitated about giving Dayan the money and he consulted convicted drug lord Peter Co to verify the transaction.
“‘Yung sagot ni Peter sa akin, ‘Okay pare, walang problema sa kanila basta itago mo lang,'” Espinosa claimed.
Espinosa alleged that Dayan initially demanded P2 million per month. However, Espinosa said he could not produce the money and he negotiated to give P700,000 per month instead.
Aside from this, Dayan allegedly also demanded Espinosa to give a P2-million “good will” money.
Espinosa alleged that he met De Lima in Baguio City in November 2015, where he handed money for the third time.
Espinosa also claimed during the probe that he told Dayan to call him by his code name, “Batman” to protect his identity.
However, De Lima earlier said allegations that she received P8 million in drug money was part of the Duterte administration’s “grand plan” to link her to illegal drug operations.
She has reiterated in several instances that she never received a single centavo nor did she knew Espinosa.