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De Lima claims Kerwin Espinosa used to implicate her in drug trade

After a Makati Regional Trial Court dismissed the case against confessed drug distributor Kerwin Espinosa, detained Senator Leila De Lima claimed that Espinosa and others were used to falsely implicate her in the drug trade.

According to a Saturday "24 Oras Weekend" report, de Lima said she was not in a position to judge the guilt or innocence of Espinosa, convicted drug lord Peter Co, and others as she was not aware of the merits or lack thereof of their drug cases.

"What I know is that the DOJ under then SOJ Aguirre had to use such characters as Kerwin Espinosa to falsely implicate me in the drug trade. That was all they cared for and what mattered to them. Kailangan nilang gumamit ng mga yan para idamay ako," de Lima said, adding the personalities were used by Aguirre in their "demolition job" against her.

The senator said Aguirre should have displayed the same vigor exhibited in running after her in pursuing the cases against Espinosa and other drug personalities.

"With their misplaced zeal and wrongful prosecution of an innocent target, rule of law and justice suffer. An innocent suffers while the real guilty malefactors benefit therefrom," de Lima said.

"It will serve the DOJ well to remember to flex the long arm of the law more often against the real criminals, rather than the strong hand of the state against the political opposition. The moment it stops wasting its energy on my selective prosecution, maybe then it will start getting convictions against the real drug lords," she added.

GMA News had sought comment from Aguirre on the matter, but he had yet to respond as of posting time.

De Lima surrendered to authorities on February 24, 2017 after Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group served a warrant for her arrest issued by a Muntinlupa court over drug-related charges.

The senator had denied allegations of supposedly receiving P8 million from Espinosa, saying the claim was part of the Duterte administration’s “grand plan” to link her to illegal drug operations.

A Makati Regional Trial Court has dismissed the case against Espinosa and others for the failure of the prosecution to cite evidence to overturn their presumption of innocence.

In a 13 page-decision, the Makati RTC Branch 64 granted the demurrer to evidence filed by Espinosa, Lovely Impal, Wu Tuan Yuan as well as the motion to dismiss the demurrer to evidence filed by Marcelo Adorco.

This is regarding the conspiracy that the Espinosa group agreed to commit illegal trading or trafficking of dangerous drugs. — Jamil Santos/DVM, GMA News