Sen. Leila De Lima calls hints that she’s behind Espinosa slay absurd


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Calling it “absurd” and “pathetic,” Senator Leila De Lima on Monday dismissed claims she was involved in the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa inside a jail over the weekend.

De Lima said she did not know the late mayor and his son, Kerwin Espinosa, a suspected drug lord whose deportation from the United Arab Emirates to face drug trafficking charges here is now being processed by authorities.

“They are so absurd to the point of being pathetic already. Lahat na lang pinipilit na ituro sa akin, ‘di ko nga kilala ‘yang mga Espinosa na ‘yan,” De Lima told reporters.

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She also questioned the circumstances behind the death of Espinosa, who was reportedly killed on Saturday after fighting it out with policemen who were about to serve an arrest warrant for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.

“Bakit naman manlalaban pa ang nakakulong na? It’s an oft-repeated version ng nanlaban katulad ng mga pinatay nilang thousands of suspected drug pushers na pinapalabas nilang nanlaban din,” De Lima said.

De Lima added she supports the call to resume the Senate investigation on extrajudicial killings triggered by Espinosa’s death.

In an interview on radio dzBB on Sunday, Aguirre said De Lima was the “common denominator” in the killing of a Cebu policeman who allegedly squealed on so-called “narco-generals”; the fatal stabbing of alleged drug lord Tony Co inside the New Bilibid Prison; and Espinosa’s shooting inside his cell in the Baybay City Sub-Provincial Jail.

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Aguirre did not name the policeman killed in Cebu, but Police Officer 2 Ryan del Castillo was found dead in Lapu-Lapu City last August after accusing former PNP Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo and retired Chief Superintendent and now Daanbantayan, Cebu Mayor Vicente Loot of involvement in illegal drugs.

The justice secretary also said De Lima topped the list of government and police officials giving protection to drug syndicates.

De Lima, a former justice secretary, has repeatedly denied her involvement in illegal drugs, saying President Rodrigo Duterte only wanted to get back at her for criticizing his administration’s war on drugs and probing his links to vigilante squads when she was Commission on Human Rights chairperson.

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