Release De Lima now, Pangilinan says after Kerwin Espinosa recants drug allegations

Senator Leila de Lima should be freed now after alleged drug lord Rolan “Kerwin” E. Espinosa recanted his testimonies against the detained senator, vice presidential candidate Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan said.

Senator Francis 'Kiko' Pangilinan (Photo from Team Kiko)

“Ngayong binawi na ni Kerwin Espinosa ang lahat ng mga paratang laban kay Senator Leila De Lima, dapat palayain na si Senator Leila— now na (Now that Kerwin Espinosa recanted all his allegations against Senator Leila De Lima, Senator Leila must now be freed)!" Pangilinan said in a statement on Thursday, April 28.

In a counter-affidavit submitted before the Department of Justice (DOJ), Espinosa said that “any and all of my statements given during the Senate hearings, or in the form of sworn written affidavits, against Senator De Lima are not true.”

"Sinabi mismo ng aminadong drug lord na walang katotohanan ang mga paratang laban kay Senator Leila. Patunay na gawa-gawa ang mga ito (It already came from the self-confessed drug lord, himself, that there is no truth in all the allegations against Senator Leila. A proof that these are all made up)," the lawmaker said.

"Napakalaking sampal sa katarungan ang mahigit limang taong pagkakapiit ni Senator Leila. Palayain na si Senator Leila, agad-agad (It is a big slap to justice the more than five years detention of Senator Leila. Release Senator Leila immediately)!" he added.

De Lima is currently detained at the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame in Quezon City. She is facing illegal drug charges before the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) over her alleged involvement in narcotics trading in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

De Lima marked her fifth year in detention last Feb. 24. She has consistently asserted her innocence in the charges filed against her.