De Lima: I do not know Kerwin

By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated November 22, 2016

De Lima: I do not know Kerwin

MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Leila de Lima on Tuesday denied being involved with alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, who claimed giving her a total of P8 million from the illegal drug trade. Sen. Manny Pacquiao earlier said that Espinosa told him that he had met with De Lima to personally give her money for her senatorial campaign.

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila de Lima on Tuesday denied being involved with alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, who claimed giving her a total of P8 million from the illegal drug trade.

Sen. Manny Pacquiao earlier said that Espinosa told him that he had met with De Lima to personally give her money for her senatorial campaign.

READ: Pacquiao: Kerwin tagged De Lima in drug trade

De Lima stressed that the allegations against her were all lies.

“I have not received a single centavo from Kerwin Espinosa whether directly or indirectly in any instance in the same manner that I have not received a single centavo from those so-called drug lords na nag-testify sa House inquiry. Lahat po ito ay malaking kasinungalingan,” De Lima said in a televised press conference.

The former Justice secretary added that she has not met Espinosa nor any member of his family, including his late father Mayor Rolando Espinosa.

De Lima said that Espinosa was only linking her in the illegal drug trade because he did not have a choice.

“Walang choice si Kerwin Espinosa. Katulad din ni Jaybee Sebastian na kailangan muna nilang takutin sa pamamagitan ng riot na yun alleged riot na yun sa Bilibid bago siya nakumbinsi na mag-testify at magsinungaling din tungkol sa akin,” the senator said.

The senator also noted that at least two persons identified with Espinosa died under suspicious circumstances, including his father and his former partner.

De Lima insisted that she will attend the Senate inquiry into the death of the elder Espinosa despite Kerwin’s claim that she is involved in the illegal drug trade.

“I just hope that my colleagues in the committee especially in tomorrow’s hearing would conduct themselves in a professional manner na sana naman wag na nilang dagdagan ‘yung kalbaryo ko na baka naman may iba d’yan na mag-iisip na pagkakataon na naman para… pahiyain ako,” De Lima said.

The Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee will hold a joint inquiry with the justice and human rights committee on the killing of the Albuera, Leyte mayor on Wednesday morning.

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