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Aguirre: Highly possible Kerwin Espinosa would tag De Lima in illegal drug trade

Justice Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre II on Thursday said there is high possibility that alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa would implicate Sen. Leila De Lima in the illegal drug trade.

In an interview on GMA News TV's Balitanghali, Aguirre said he would not be surprised if Espinosa would echo the affidavit of his late father and tag De Lima as the top protector of drug-related activities.

"Talagang may posibilidad dahil dun sa kanilang blue book at pink book na ginawa ng mag-ama ay talagang number one si De Lima na protector ng mga drug lord at drug-related activities. Hindi ako magugulat kung itong si Kerwin ay i-reiterate niya yung nasa affidavit ng kanyang ama," he said.

Espinosa's father, Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando submitted several documents when he surrendered to the Philippine National Police. But he was killed inside his Leyte sub-provincial jail cell when he allegedly engaged elements of the CIDG-8 in a shootout on Nov. 5.

The blue book and the documents contained at least 226 names of politicians, members of the judiciary, policemen, jail officials and members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency allegedly linked to illegal drug operations.

Mayor Espinosa also submitted an affidavit naming at least 50 individuals, including De Lima, as the alleged protectors of his son

De Lima already expects the younger Espinosa to pin her in the illegal drug trade, saying he may have been threatened after the death of his father. 

Meanwhile, Aguirre said De Lima may have a basis to be implicated by Espinosa since none from Philippine government authorities have interviewed the alleged Eastern Visayas drug lord.

"Alam niyang merong basehan siguro si Kerwin para siya ay i-implicate, otherwise bakit mahuhulaan niya? Wala pang government authorities na nakaka-interview kay Kerwin, inuunahan na niya, alam na alam niya na meron silang ugnayan tungkol sa proteksyon sa droga ni Kerwin," Aguirre said.

On the other hand, Aguirre said all names included in the blue book and pink book of the elder Espinosa would be given their day in court to defend themselves.

"Lahat ng taong nakalista dun ay bibigyan ng due process. Kung ikaw ay hindi dapat nakalagay dun, you will have your day in court. Magsa-submit ka ng evidence to show na mali ang mag-ama. Definitely bibigyan ka ng pagkakataon to clear ang iyong pangalan," he said.

Aguirre added the Department of Justice would release the list to the public in due time until they finish the verification process.

The younger Espinosa promised to reveal all information he knows on the illegal drug trade when he returns to the Philippines early Friday from the United Arab Emirates. 

President Rodrigo Duterte also assured the safety of Espinosa, who was arrested by the Abu Dhabi police in October. — Joseph Tristan Roxas/RSJ, GMA News