De Lima seeks probe into Espinosa’s alleged foiled attempt to escape

Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Thursday called for an investigation into the alleged foiled escape of confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and two other persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) facility, lamenting she is always dragged into any reports about him.

“On Espinosa’s reported foiled escape and his reported denial thereof, I call for a thorough probe on this. Did he or did he not attempt or plan to escape? If such attempt is confirmed by evidence, investigators must dig deeper. What could be his motivation, particularly in light of the recent junking by the court of one of his cases?” De Lima said in a statement.

De Lima said authorities should look for sufficient evidence to find out if there was indeed an attempt to escape and learn the motive behind it.

“There might be more to this than meets the eye,” she stressed.

The detained senator lamented that her name has always been dragged into Espinosa’s controversy for no other reason than that he once lied about bribing her in the past.

“By now, I should be used to being unjustly used as a distraction from the government’s multitude of failures and controversies. But no one should ever get used to being a victim,” De Lima pointed out.

The lawmaker, who is currently facing illegal drug charges and is detained at the Philippine National Police’s Custodial Center, recalled that Espinosa falsely testified against her while his father, then Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa, Sr. was slain while under detention.

She also stressed that the case against her arising from Espinosa’s statements has long been dismissed for lack of evidence by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“For an agency that has supported the other drug cases it did file against me with the flimsiest of evidence, such as the testimonies of criminal convicts, that is saying something about the incredibility of Espinosa’s story. End of story as far as I am concerned,” she noted.

“For, indeed, the story about me having received 8M from Espinosa was pure concoction. How could I have received anything from him or dealt with him in any manner when I don’t even know him from Adam?” De Lima asked.

The NBI had earlier alleged that Espinosa and two other detainees, who were not identified, tried to escape last January 13 through the air vent of the bureau’s detention facility in Taft Avenue.

But a Makati court last December had junked one of the government’s cases against Espinosa for supposedly failing to prove with sufficient evidence his alleged conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading.