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ON THIS PAGE, THE De LIMA-DUTERTE FEUD
ANALYSIS BY KATRINA SANTIAGO: DUTERTE vs DE LIMA
[RELATED: NBI files drug raps vs De Lima, 17 others]
[RELATED(2): Albuera police chief - De Lima got P8M from Kerwin Espinosa]
PHOTO FROM INQUIRER FILE APPENDED HERE BY PHNO I do think President Duterte need not stoop so low to the point that we put her down for her being a woman – because that’s what slut-shaming is. If there is enough information to prove her guilt, then there is enough to talk about without involving her personal romantic relations, plain and simple. As it is, including those kinds of personal attacks just makes it seem like there isn’t enough to pin her down in relation to this case. Yet listening to the proceedings in Congress, and especially to Police Director Benjamin Magalong of the CIDG speaking about his professional engagement with then Secretary of Justice De Lima, tells me there is in fact enough. If anything, there is enough of a story here to put Senator De Lima on the defensive, if not on an all-out war against President Duterte. READ MORE...RELATED, NBI files drug raps vs De Lima, 17 others... RELATED(2) Albuera police chief: De Lima got P8M from Kerwin Espinosa...
ALSO: High Court decides to tackle President’s immunity before acting on De Lima’s case
[RELATED, Espinosa’s affidavit has no more value, says Aguirre]
[RELATED(2): Slain mayor linked De Lima, 225 others to illegal drugs]
NOVEMBER 9 -The Supreme Court (SC) decided yesterday to resolve first whether the Philippine President is immune from suit during his six-year tenure before it acts on the case filed by Sen. Leila de Lima against him. In a resolution, the SC directed both De Lima and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to submit their memoranda in 10 days on the immunity from suit of the President. “Without necessarily giving due course to the petition, the petitioner (De Lima) and the OSG are directed to submit their respective memorandum on the issue of whether the President of the Republic of the Philippines, as the sole respondent in this case, is immune from suit including this one, within a non-extendible period of 10 days from notice,” the SC said. Quoting from the text of the resolution, lawyer Theodore O. Te, head of the SC’s public information office (PIO), said: READ MORE... RELATED, Espinosa’s affidavit has no more value, says Aguirre...RELATED(2), Slain mayor linked De Lima, 225 others to illegal drugs...
ALSO: Aquino hopes for justice, transparency in De Lima probeP[RELATED: Palace assures Aquino, public of transparency in Espinosa slay probe]
NOVEMBER 6 -Former President Benigno Aquino III and Senator Leila de Lima Former President Benigno Aquino III said he hopes justice and truth will prevail in the investigation into Senator Leila de Lima's alleged involvement in the proliferation of the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) when she was still justice secretary. "Leila (de Lima) is isa sa ating principal adviser sa legal matters at inaasahan natin na magkakaroon ng patas, parehas na preliminary investigation muna at hihintayin natin ang katotohanan at palagay ko kaya niyang ilabas ang kanyang punto de vista, ang kanyang posisyon at maikaklaro nila lahat ito sa mga nangyayari," he told reporters on the sidelines of a prayer-concert in Manila Sunday. READ MORE...RELATED, Palace assures Aquino, public of transparency in Espinosa slay probe...
ALSO: De Lima calls hints that she’s behind Espinosa slay 'absurd'[RELATED: ABS-CBN 'IN THE LOOP' VIDEO REPORT]
NOVEMBER 7 -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. READ MORE...RELATED WATCH ABS-CBN IN THE LOOP VIDEO REPORT...
ALSO: De Lima wants brother of slain Mayor invited to Senate probe
[De Lima on alleged pic with Kerwin Espinosa: I don’t remember this]
NOVEMBER 8 -KERWIN ESPINOSA Senator Leila de Lima on Tuesday said she will ask the Senate public order committee to invite the brother of slain Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa in its probe scheduled on Thursday. De Lima cited a Cebu Daily News report which quoted Espinosa’s brother, Ramon, as saying that the affidavit executed by the late mayor was “ready-made.” "In other words, coerced na naman na testimony ‘yan kasi ganun din ang mga nangyari sa tingin ko dun sa pinresent nila sa House inquiry," De Lima said, referring to the House justice committee's investigation on her alleged involvement in the prison drug trade. "Gusto ko lang malinawan kung totoo yung sinasabi niya (Ramon)," De Lima said. READ MORE...
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Duterte vs De Lima
PHOTO FROM INQUIRER FILE APPENDED HERE BY PHNO
MANILA, NOVEMBER 7, 2016 (MANILA TIMES) COMMENTARY BY KATRINA STUART SANTIAGO ON ON SEPTEMBER 25, 2016 EDITORS' PICKS, OP-ED COLUMNS - I have stood against the slut-shaming of Senator Leila De Lima, against bringing in her personal life, judging her for her romantic relationship(s), making jokes out of it, in relation to the war on drugs and her alleged complicity in the drug business.
KATRINA STUART SANTIAGO
I do think President Duterte need not stoop so low to the point that we put her down for her being a woman – because that’s what slut-shaming is. If there is enough information to prove her guilt, then there is enough to talk about without involving her personal romantic relations, plain and simple. As it is, including those kinds of personal attacks just makes it seem like there isn’t enough to pin her down in relation to this case.
Yet listening to the proceedings in Congress, and especially to Police Director Benjamin Magalong of the CIDG speaking about his professional engagement with then Secretary of Justice De Lima, tells me there is in fact enough. If anything, there is enough of a story here to put Senator De Lima on the defensive, if not on an all-out war against President Duterte.
Which is why I don’t understand how people can say this is not about De Lima VS Duterte. Of course it is. And this was started by De Lima herself.
The Justice secretary
De Lima started the all-out war against then Mayor Duterte of Davao a year before the May 2016 elections when she called out the mayor’s admission of being the Davao Death Squad. That admission is on YouTube. It is well-documented, and as then Justice Secretary, De Lima asserted her moral high ground as she needed to, and as expected. In May 2015, she was on a rampage.
From Interaksyon.com: “I find those statements annoying and disturbing. Here we have a public figure boldly making those kinds of statements. I really find Mayor Duterte’s approach reprehensible.”
From GMANetwork.com: “Ano bang klaseng mga statements iyan? A public servant, one who is very popular right now like Mayor Duterte and idolized by many, and yet, he makes those statements! Iyong iba sa atin, natutuwa pa, lalong ina-idolize si Mayor Duterte. But, is that right? Hindi po tama iyon.”
This last bit was telling: the idolatry was something people feared about Mayor Duterte running for president – I think we all knew it could win him the presidency. To have the Justice secretary scolding the public about who they were idolizing may have been the wrong call, seeing as it became obvious that this was not going to go through “due process” but was really about making sure that the mayor’s presidential bid would be ruined before it even started.
Of course De Lima can say there was due process, as there was in fact an NBI investigation into the DDS at that time.
“I really don’t know <if Duterte will end up being charged. I’m not saying this because there is an election… because he’s a possible presidentiable. I’m just being consistent, as a former Human Rights Commissioner. This is simply unacceptable.” (GMANetwork.com, May 2015)
That uncertainty about the DDS investigation, coupled with her articulations against Duterte, just made it seem like she was not merely speaking as justice secretary but also as a member of the Liberal Party – afraid of Duterte running for president. She was not speaking objectively and clearly about the NBI investigation, and instead would re-focus her attention on the public that was pushing the mayor to run for president.
De Lima herself was hitting on the personal.
And Mayor Duterte knew it. In fact, he was also working with the bigger picture of the 2016 elections in mind, the role De Lima would play in it, and what this word war would lead to.
In May 2015, the Mayor said: “‘Yang si De Lima nagpapaek-ek lang ‘yan, e gustong tumakbo ‘yan ng senador, then I said you file a case against me. You started it when you were the human rights chairman. You file the case, make yourself as the complainant and I will place you in the witness stand as I will also answer everything, but I want you there to ask you about your professional and personal dealings.” (Philstar.com)
That same month, the-mayor-who-would-be-president also put into question the credibility of the-Justice-secretary-who-would-be-senator.
“You accuse me of extrajudicial killing, which is criminal, but look at your own backyard, especially Muntinlupa. By culpable neglect, many were able to sneak in, you did not do anything. You raided only now, you built Hilton Hotel right in Muntinlupa, you allowed it, look at your own backyard. A more serious crime is committed every day. Prisoners going in and out of prison, doing kidnapping and hold-ups outside. Women, drugs, being allowed inside, and you have the gall to accuse me of extrajudicial killings of criminals?
“You fatten them. Your penal colony guard selling shabu with prisoners outside, what’s happening to the country? I’m the only local official talking against drugs and you have the gall to say I’m killing the criminals, while you fatten them in and out of prison. What are you doing to the criminals in this country? Answer me.” (Inquirer.net, 28 May 2015)
This was long before the decision was made for Mayor Duterte to run for president. That it resonates in the present is telling, isn’t it?
It is said that this is not about De Lima versus Duterte, but about justice.
But justice – across the board – will only be had if we find out the truth, across all these witnesses given the Senate inquiry and the Congress investigation.
Certainly the current extrajudicial killings must be discussed, and the perpetrators brought to justice, whoever they are. President Duterte must push for this as much as he has pushed this drug war. It is a by-product of this war, and it is this government’s responsibility to look into these killings.
But in that light, it makes no sense that Senator De Lima brought Matobato into the picture at this point in time, speaking as he does solely and only about the DDS in Davao, and not at all telling us anything about the current landscape of killings. That disconnect is part of the senator’s undoing, and it is all her fault.
That Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II is doing his job and actually working on proving President Duterte’s assertions in May 2015 about then Justice Secretary De Lima, was the logical next step in this she-said-he-said episode that started a year before the May 2016 elections.
That this was started by De Lima herself, that the tenor of the discussion was dictated by her, and that now she feels that she is being singled out and victimized – well, that’s how the ball has rolled.
The fact is her tone was just as arrogant, her arguments just as flawed, and she was also hitting below the belt against Mayor Duterte, throughout much of the campaign. She spoke with confidence against this man, questioned his credibility, ruined him for all that he said and all that he had purportedly done. She was a woman on a roll.
She was a woman confident that her president, Mar Roxas, would win.
In May 2015, Mayor Duterte had said of De Lima’s criticism against him: “It’s because of her political ambition. Well, run and the Filipino people will get to know you more as the barking dog of the Aquino administration.” (ManilaTimes.net)
RELATED FROM PHILSTAR
NBI files drug raps vs De Lima, 17 others By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated November 10, 2016 - 2:50pm 0 11 googleplus1 0
Opposition Senator Leila De Lima gestures during a news conference following her filing a petition in the Philippine Supreme Court seeking to stop President Rodrigo Duterte "from securing private details about her personal life and using them to degrade her dignity as a human being, a woman and a senator" Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 in Manila, Philippines. Senator De Lima claimed that the verbal attacks and threats from the President leveled against her are not covered by presidential immunity from suit because "they are not the official acts of a President." AP/Bullit Marquez
MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation on Thursday filed drug trafficking, bribery and graft charges against Sen. Leila de Lima and 17 others in connection with the Bilibid drug trade.
The charges are based on the report of the NBI's investigation into the proliferation and trade of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison.
According to the report, De Lima violated the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
De Lima also allegedly violated Presidential Decree 46, which penalizes public officials and employees who receive, and for private reasons, give gifts on any occasion.
Also facing charges are former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Franklin Bucayu, former Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III, former BuCor officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos, De Lima's former security aide Joenel Sanchez, De Lima's former driver Ronnie Dayan, NBI agent Jovencio Ablen Jr., Bucayu's alleged bagman Wilfredo Elli, DOJ employee Jesusa Francisco, De Lima's former personal assistant Lyn Sagun, Julius Rejuso and an alias George.
High-profile inmates Jaybee Sebastian, Herbert Colanggo, Engelbert Durano, Vicente Sy, Peter Co and Jojo Baligad were also included in the charge sheet.
Last month, police and former officials of the NBI also filed drug charges against De Lima. The complaints accused the senator of receiving payoffs from drug lord Rolan "Kerwin" Espinosa.
RELATED: ‘Answer drug charges first’-Palace to De Lima
Instead of making “noise,” Senator Leila de Lima should just answer allegations that she had been a protector of convicts involved in the drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said yesterday. AP/Bullit Marquez PHILSTAR FILE
RELATED(2) FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK
Albuera police chief: De Lima got P8M from Kerwin Espinosa Published November 10, 2016 2:35pm By AMITA LEGASPI, GMA News
PICTURE DE LIMA SAYS SHE DOESN'T REMEMBER: Leila de Lima is shown with suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa
The police official who filed a case against Senator Leila de Lima in connection with her alleged link to the drug operations of Kerwin Espinosa recalled Thursday how she allegedly received P8 million from the latter.
During the Senate hearing on the death of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa, Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido, Albuera, Leyte chief of police, was initially hesitant to give the names of personalities earlier mentioned by the mayor. De Lima however manifested that he can name her.
“If previously announced, I don’t mind if you disclose it. I know my name is in the number 1 list, according to (Justice) Secretary (Vitaliano) Aguirre,” De Lima said.
Espenido said charges have been filed against most of those included in the affidavit earlier issued by Espinosa. He has accused de Lima of receiving payola from suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, the mayor's son.
DENIES KNOWING KERWIN
De Lima had denied knowing Kerwin Espinosa and receiving drug money from him.
Espenido added that they validated the allegations stated there before filing the complaint.
“'Yung affidavit ni Mayor kasama sa sasampahan natin ng kaso. Totoo 'yun. Ang sa atin naman hindi maganda sa side ko kung magsabi ka lang ng ganun. May circumstances din,” he said.
He said Espinosa’s family attested to the truthfulness of their patriarch’s statement.
“Nung nagsasabi si Mayor andyan 'yung mga anak niya at saka 'yung common-law wife niya. Tinanong ko paano mo nalaman na nagkita sila sa Burnham? Sumagot din ang mga anak niya. Sabi nila kaming family nakita namin,” he said.
He said the Espinosa family saw De Lima in Burnham Park in Baguio City and they even had their picture taken with her.
“Sabi niya first time sila magkita ni Ma’am (De Lima), 'yung anak niya si Kevin, doon nakita sila at pinicturan pa. Nagsama sila ng Espinosa family doon. 'Yun ang validation namin,” he said.
PIC DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING
Lacson said having a picture with someone does not mean anything.
“Kami sanay na sanay kami sa ganun na nagpapa-picture,” he said.
Espenido said they did not just rely on the picture but on the affidavit of Roland Kevin, another son of Espinosa, that they gave De Lima P8 million.
“Hindi kami nag-rely sa picture. Nag-rely kami sa statement ng pamilya na nag-usap sila. Sa affidavit ni Kevin, P8M ang binigay nong first magkita sila,” he said.
De Lima asked who Kevin was. Espenido replied: “Roland Kerwin, iyong isa. Iyong kapatid niyang bakla si Roland Kevin.”
Lacson asked where the payoff was made as Burnham Park was so open to public.
Espenido said the money was handed during a meeting in a restaurant near SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City. —KG, GMA News
High Court decides to tackle President’s immunity before acting on De Lima’s case 0 SHARES Share it! Published November 9, 2016, 12:06 AM by Rey G. Panaligan
The Supreme Court (SC) decided yesterday to resolve first whether the Philippine President is immune from suit during his six-year tenure before it acts on the case filed by Sen. Leila de Lima against him.
In a resolution, the SC directed both De Lima and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to submit their memoranda in 10 days on the immunity from suit of the President.
“Without necessarily giving due course to the petition, the petitioner (De Lima) and the OSG are directed to submit their respective memorandum on the issue of whether the President of the Republic of the Philippines, as the sole respondent in this case, is immune from suit including this one, within a non-extendible period of 10 days from notice,” the SC said.
Quoting from the text of the resolution, lawyer Theodore O. Te, head of the SC’s public information office (PIO), said:
“It is noted that the issue of immunity of the President from suit is a prejudicial question to be first resolved before the Court decides whether to require him to comment or not pursuant to the Rule on the Writ of Habeas Data.”
Last Monday, De Lima filed a petition for a Writ of Habeas Data and asked the SC to stop the President’s “crude personal attacks” against her and the “wrongful collection and publication” of her alleged private affairs and activities “that are outside of the realm of legitimate public concern.”
“This case presents a novel issue of transcendental importance: Can a sitting President wage a personal vendetta against petitioner and use the resources of his powerful office to crucify her as a woman, a human being, and a duly elected senator in violation of her right to privacy in life, liberty, and security?”
The President had earlier linked De Lima in the proliferation of illegal drug trade at the National Bilibid Prisons(NBP) and benefitted from it when she was secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ), and accused her of having an illicit affair with her driver.
De Lima has denied all the allegations and vowed to pursue the case up to the SC.
In a full court resolution issued in 2008, the SC adopted the Writ of Habeas Data as “remedy available to any person whose right to privacy in life, liberty, or security is violated or threatened by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity engaged in the gathering, collecting or storing of data or information regarding the person, family, home and correspondence of the aggrieved party.”
While the 1987 Constitution does not provide specific provision on the immunity from suit of an incumbent President, the bases for the immunity are found both in the jurisprudence of the United States and the Philippines and under Article 8 of the Civil Code “the jurisprudence forms part of the legal system of the Philippines.”
In 1986, the SC ruled that “incumbent Presidents are immune from suit or from being brought to court during the period of their incumbency and tenure.”
PRESIDENTIAL IMMUNITY RULING
Two years later in 1988, the SC further ruled that “the rationale for the grant to the President of the privilege of immunity from suit is to assure the exercise of Presidential duties and functions free from any hindrance or distraction, considering that being the Chief Executive of the Government is a job that, aside from requiring all of the office-holder’s time, also demands undivided attention.”
Under the 2008 resolution, cases involving a Writ of Habeas Data may be filed before the regional trial court, Sandiganbayan, Court of Appeals, and the SC and these courts are mandated to act swiftly on these cases.
In her petition, De Lima said the remarks against her “constitute psychological violence prohibited by Republic Act No. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women.”
She also said the attacks against her violated the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
“The verbal attacks on petitioner’s womanhood and threats on her person are not covered by presidential immunity from suit because they are not the official acts of a President…. They constitute unlawful, unofficial conduct that has nothing to do with the President’s duties and responsibilities,” she stressed in her petition.
RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER
Espinosa’s affidavit has no more value, says Aguirre By: Tetch Torres-Tupas - Reporter / @T2TupasINQ INQUIRER.net / 05:01 PM November 09, 2016
Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. when he surrendered to PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa in early August 2016 —JULLIANE LOVE DE JESUS/INQUIRER.net
The affidavit of Mayor Rolando Espinosa no longer had value after his death, said Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Wednesday.
The Albuera, Leyte mayor was killed last Saturday by policemen serving a search warrant inside the Baybay jail.
“Wala ng value ang affidavit ni Espinosa. Hearsay na lang ’yun if ever,” Aguirre said in a text message.
Aguirre’s view was echoed by Rosario Setias-Reyes, national president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).
“If an affidavit is presented in court, the affiant will have to testify to confirm that it was the affidavit he executed,” Setias-Reyes said.
However, in Espinosa’s case, she said it could no longer be authenticated.
“Parang special power of attorney na in-execute ng tao, pag namatay ’yun, wala ng bisa,” she said.
Espinosa, in his affidavit, identified ranking government officials, including Sen. Leila De Lima, as among the protectors of his son Kerwin’s illegal drug activity. Aside from De Lima, there are 49 other former officials and individuals mentioned as his son’s protectors.
Reyes, however, said the affidavit no longer had any probative value.
“It is just a simple affidavit,” she said.
But she noted that while the affidavit would no longer stand in court, the information he mentioned in the affidavit could still be pursued and verified.
RELATED(2) FROM THE INQUIRER
Slain mayor linked De Lima, 225 others to illegal drugs By: Joey A. Gabieta, Robert Dejon - @inquirerdotnet / @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 01:10 AM November 07, 2016
DEATH IN JAIL The youngest daughter of slain Mayor Rolando Espinosa, Chesney, wails upon seeing her father’s body as it was being brought out of the Baybay jail where hewas killed bymembers of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group purportedly during a shootout. —ROBERT DEJON
ORMOC CITY—Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. had executed an affidavit linking 226 government, military, police and judicial personnel to the widespread illegal drug trade of his son Kerwin, and his murder inside a jail in Leyte province on Saturday morning could have a chilling effect on potential witnesses.
“It can instill fear among them. What is the guarantee that they are still safe?” said Chief Insp. Jove Espenido, police chief of Albuera, Espinosa’s hometown in Leyte and the center of his son Kerwin’s alleged drug trade.
Espenido said he had persuaded Espinosa to execute an affidavit and identify the government and police officials who provided protection to his son’s narcotics business, reputed to be the biggest in Eastern Visayas.
He said the mayor identified 226 people, including Sen. Leila de Lima and 18 other politicians, four members of the judiciary, 38 policemen, seven personnel of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), one from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, three from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, one from the Army and three from the media.
Separate complaints were later filed against 47 of the 226 people named in the Office of the Ombudsman, the prosecutors’ office and the Philippine National Police, according to Espenido. These included De Lima and six other government officials, 33 police officers and seven private individuals.
Senator De Lima has denied any involvement in illegal drugs, saying the charge is part of a demolition job against her by the Duterte administration.
Mayor Espinosa, 54, was a vital witness in all these cases, Espenido said. Kerwin Espinosa, 36, has been arrested in Abu Dhabi and is awaiting extradition to the Philippines.
Exchange for affidavit
In exchange for writing the affidavit, Espinosa had been told by Espenido that he would provide the mayor security by allowing him to stay in his police station.
On Oct. 5, Espinosa was transferred to a subprovincial jail in Baybay City to face charges of illegal possession of firearms and drugs.
Exactly a month after his transfer to the jail, Espinosa was killed in what CIDG-8 (Eastern Visayas) claimed was a shootout. A 15-member CIDG team barged into the jail at
3 a.m. on Saturday purportedly to serve a search warrant on Espinosa, whom they suspected to be keeping “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) inside his cell.
CIDG-8 claimed that Espinosa fired at the team, prompting them to fire back, hitting the mayor in the head, chest and stomach. Also killed in the raid was Raul Yap, a native of Albuera, who was also detained there on drug charges.
The raiding team reportedly recovered a .38 cal. pistol and a pack of shabu from the cell of Espinosa and a .45 cal. pistol, 27 sachets of marijuana and 21 sachets of shabu from Yap. Before they left, the policemen allegedly took the hard drive connected to the closed circuit television cameras.
PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa, who earlier sought to assure Espinosa of his safety, ordered an investigation into Saturday’s killing.
A team from Camp Crame arrived on Sunday to start the investigation.
Espenido said he was surprised by the raid conducted by the CIDG on Espinosa who was killed for allegedly possessing a single firearm.
“We have conducted raids (against Espinosa) involving packs of shabu and cache of firearms. We did not harm or kill him. He eventually surrendered. But for a single firearm (he was killed)?”? Espenido said.
He told the Inquirer that he planned to visit the wake of Espinosa at his house in Barangay Tinago, Albuera.
Apology to the family
“I will apologize to his family. I really thought that he would be safe if he would be detained at the (Leyte subprovincial jail) but unfortunately, he was killed,”? Espenido said.
The Inquirer tried to reach Supt. Marvin Marcos, CIDG-8 chief, but he declined to be interviewed. Incidentally, Marcos’ aunt, Lalaine Jimenea, publisher of a local paper in Ormoc, was among those linked by Espinosa to his son’s operation.
Jimenea, who had denied the charges, was among the seven people charged at the regional state prosecutor’s office in Leyte for allegedly receiving payola from Kerwin.
Aside from Jimenea, the others charged by Espenido after they were linked by Espinosa were Senator De Lima, Vice Mayor Jonah John Ungab of Ronda town in Cebu, businessmen Eufrocino Codilla Jr. and Victor Espina Jr., brother of retired PNP officer in charge Leonardo Espina; and retired Bureau of Jail Management and Penology warden Joseph Nuñez who was warden of the Ormoc City jail where Kerwin Espinosa was previously detained.
Complaints vs policemen
Several policemen were also facing administrative complaints at the Regional Internal Affairs Service. Among them were Supt. Joey Masauding, former CIDG-8 director; Senior Supt. Jose Macanas, former Ormoc police director; and Supt. Ibrahim Jambiran, former intelligence police chief in Ormoc.
According to Albert Hidalgo, former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in Leyte, the affidavit executed by Espinosa lost its probative value with his death.
But he added the affidavit could be used to corroborate statements from other
Hidalgo said the danger of using the affidavit of Espinosa in court was that it would be open to questions by defense lawyers. “The affidavit will just be hearsay,” Hidalgo said.
Leilani Villarino, Espinosa’s lawyer, said the family had not decided whether to press charges against the CIDG. She said they would first wait for the outcome of the investigation before deciding on their next step.
Aquino hopes for justice, transparency in De Lima probe ABS-CBN News Posted at Nov 06 2016 11:00 PM
Former President Benigno Aquino III and Senator Leila de Lima
MANILA - Former President Benigno Aquino III said he hopes justice and truth will prevail in the investigation into Senator Leila de Lima's alleged involvement in the proliferation of the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) when she was still justice secretary.
"Leila (de Lima) is isa sa ating principal adviser sa legal matters at inaasahan natin na magkakaroon ng patas, parehas na preliminary investigation muna at hihintayin natin ang katotohanan at palagay ko kaya niyang ilabas ang kanyang punto de vista, ang kanyang posisyon at maikaklaro nila lahat ito sa mga nangyayari," he told reporters on the sidelines of a prayer-concert in Manila Sunday.
He added that he is also checking the other allegations against De Lima.
"Nagche-check din tayo doon sa ibang bintang na sinasabi at uulitin ko, inaasahan natin, ipaglaban natin na may hustisya na talagang umiral sa ating bansa," Aquino added.
New Bilibid Prison (NBP) high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian filed graft and criminal charges with the Department of Justice (DOJ) against De Lima over several issues involving the state penitentiary.
Sebastian told a congressional probe that De Lima ordered him and other gang leaders inside the NBP to sell illegal drugs. Other high-profile inmates have also testified the same.
De Lima has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying the inmates and other witnesses were just being forced by the government to vilify her.
The senator is also facing other complaints before the justice department.
RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER
Palace assures Aquino, public of transparency in Espinosa slay probe By: Kristine Angeli Sabillo - Chief of Reporters / @KSabilloINQ INQUIRER.net / 06:52 PM November 07, 2016
Former President Benigno Aquino lll. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/ JOAN BONDOC
Malacañang on Monday assured the public that there will be transparency in the investigation on the death of Mayor Rolando Espinosa, following remarks from former president Benigno Aquino III that he will monitor the probe.
“We assure everyone, including former President Noynoy Aquino, that we are one with the entire country wanting to find out the truth surrounding the tragic death of Albuera town Mayor Rolando Espinosa,” the Office of the Communications Secretary said in a statement.
“We expect the Philippine National Police to handle the case with utmost transparency and impartiality, leaving no stone unturned in search of the truth,” it added.
It said the administration “does not condone and tolerate any summary killings.”
Aquino, who has refused to speak against the Duterte administration, told reporters on Sunday that he will wait for the investigation on the death of Espinosa, who was killed inside his detention cell.
GMA NEWS NETWORK
De Lima calls hints that she’s behind Espinosa slay absurd Published November 7, 2016 3:15pm By VIRGIL LOPEZ, GMA News
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.
She also questioned the circumstances behind the death of Espinosa, who was killed on Saturday after allegedly fighting it out with policemen who were about to serve a search 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.
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. —NB, GMA News
RELATED FROM ABS-CBN
In the Loop: Gov't links De Lima to Espinosa killing ABS-CBN News Posted at Nov 07 2016 07:18 PM
Watch also in iWantv or TFC.tv Here's what you need to know to be in the loop. Albuera Police Chief believes Espinosa incapable of hiding guns while in prison. De Lima seeks help from Supreme Court against President Duterte. Share
Facebook Share on Twitter GPlus LinkedIn Pinterest Read More: In the Loop TJ Manotoc Rolando Espinosa Leila De Lima Rodrigo Duterte
De Lima wants brother of slain Mayor Espinosa invited to Senate probe Published November 8, 2016 12:48pm Updated November 8, 2016 1:48pm By KATHRINA CHARMAINE ALVAREZ, GMA News
Senator Leila de Lima on Tuesday said she will ask the Senate public order committee to invite the brother of slain Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa in its probe scheduled on Thursday.
De Lima cited a Cebu Daily News report which quoted Espinosa’s brother, Ramon, as saying that the affidavit executed by the late mayor was “ready-made.”
"In other words, coerced na naman na testimony ‘yan kasi ganun din ang mga nangyari sa tingin ko dun sa pinresent nila sa House inquiry," De Lima said, referring to the House justice committee's investigation on her alleged involvement in the prison drug trade.
"Gusto ko lang malinawan kung totoo yung sinasabi niya (Ramon)," De Lima said.
The Senate public order committee, chaired by Senator Panfilo Lacson, will start on Thursday its investigation on the killing of Espinosa after allegedly resisting arrest while detained at the Baybay, Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail.
De Lima said she finds it “very suspicious” that a search warrant against the mayor was served at 4 in the morning. “There are more questions than answers,” she said.
De Lima, former Justice secretary, was one of the 50 individuals tagged by Mayor Espinosa as protectors of the illegal drug activities of his son, Kerwin, who was arrested in Abu Dhabi last month.
De Lima denied anew accusations that she was involved in the illegal drug trade.
“I don’t even know the Espinosas. And I’m never a protector, I’m never a coddler, I was never a beneficiary of drug trade. So bakit kasama na naman ako dyan and supposedly number 1 na naman ako sa listahan?” the senator said.
She said Espinosa’s affidavit no longer has value now that he has been killed.
'Shift in strategy'
De Lima said there might be a “shift in strategy” in the government’s war on drugs in connection with the killing of Espinosa.
“Siguro iniisip nila ngayon na maraming bumabatikos tungkol sa pagpatay nung mga small time lang, so probably there’s a need for a shift in strategy,” she said.
Last August, Mayor Espinosa surrendered to the Philippine National Police (PNP) after he and Kerwin were given 24 hours to surrender by President Rodrigo Duterte over their alleged involvement in drug trade. He was able to go back to work after two weeks.
Last month, he was arrested for alleged possession of 11.4 kilos of illegal drugs and firearms reportedly found in his home during a raid in August. The mayor was detained at the Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail in Baybay City.
On the wee hours of November 5, Espinosa and drug suspect Raul Yap were killed in what police said was a shootout inside the jail. —KBK, GMA News
RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK
De Lima on alleged pic with Kerwin Espinosa: I don’t remember this Published August 30, 2016 8:22pm Updated August 30, 2016 10:01pm
Leila de Lima is shown with suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa
Senator Leila De Lima denied that she personally knows suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and his father Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, GMA News' "24 Oras" reported on Tuesday.
De Lima made the vehement denial after she was shown at the Senate a picture supposedly showing her with Kerwin.
According to Albuera chief of police Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido, the picture was included in Mayor Espinosa's affidavit.
The local executive, in a news conference on Tuesday, said members of Congress, including a senator, were involved in illegal drugs.
"Hindi ko kilala, hindi ko maalala yan. 'Nung eleksyon siguro yan," De Lima said in an interview.
"I don't know Espinosa, even the father. Ang galing-galing talaga nila. Nagka-kalkal sila," she added.
De Lima said the picture must have been taken during the campaign but stressed that she could not recall where and when exactly.
She was also able to point out members of her staff in the background.
"Nagpa-picture lang yan. Hindi yan one of those arranged meetings," De Lima said.
She has repeatedly denied that she was protecting drug dealers when she was secretary of justice. —NB/JST, GMA News
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