MANILA, Philippines — Kerwin Espinosa’s retraction of allegations linking Senator Leila de Lima to the unlawful drug commerce “is not going to have any impact” on the pending instances in opposition to the detained legislator, the Palace stated Friday.
Performing presidential spokesperson Martin Andanar stated that Espinosa “will not be a state witness.”
“Whereas Kerwin Espinosa seems to have recanted his allegations in opposition to Senator Leila de Lima, his recantation is not going to have any impact on the pending felony instances in opposition to the girl senator,” the Palace official stated in a press release.
“We now have to underscore what the Prosecutor Normal stated – Mr. Espinosa will not be a state witness,” he added.
Prosecutor Normal Benedicto Malcontento on Thursday evening stated Espinosa’s recantation has no impact on the federal government’s case in opposition to de Lima, noting that the self-confessed drug dealer was not a witness of the prosecution.
But it surely ought to be recalled that Espinosa was admitted into the Witness Safety Progam (WPP) underneath the Division of Justice (DOJ) in 2017 as a witness in opposition to de Lima.
WPP, which was established by way of Republic Act No. 6981, goals “to encourage an individual who has witnessed or has data of the fee of a criminal offense to testify earlier than a courtroom or quasi-judicial physique, or earlier than an investigating authority, by defending him from reprisals and from financial dislocation.”
Espinosa was faraway from the WPP in February this 12 months.
In his counter-affidavit submitted earlier than the DOJ on Thursday, Espinosa stated that his earlier statements in opposition to de Lima had been “false and was the results of stress, coercion, intimidation, and severe threats to his life and members of the family from the police who instructed him to implicate the Senator into the unlawful drug commerce.”
Espinosa likewise apologized to the senator, a fierce critic of President Rodrigo Duterte who has been in detention since February 2017 over what she has repeatedly branded as “trumped-up” drug fees.
Following this improvement, de Lima’s authorized counsel expressed hopes that others who had been “intimidated, coerced, and bribed into making false accusations” in opposition to the legislator would additionally “come out and confess.”
“We now have at all times believed that irrespective of the lies perpetrated by coerced witnesses, in the long run, the reality will nonetheless come out,” Atty. Filibon Tacardon stated in a press release.
“Espinosa’s affidavit solely proves the size the present administration [has] gone to manufacture testimonies and proof in opposition to Senator De Lima,” he added.
“We hope that different witnesses will even come out and confess how they had been intimidated, coerced, and bribed into making false testimonies in opposition to the great Senator and if attainable, title those that actively participated in coercing them to provide you with such ridiculous narratives in opposition to the great Senator,” Tacardon additional stated.
The Muntinlupa Regional Trial Courtroom Department 205 earlier granted de Lima’s demurrer to proof in Case Quantity 17-166, marking her acquittal in considered one of three drug instances filed in opposition to her, which she known as a “ethical victory.”
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