Senator Leila de Lima’s photo with noted drug suspect Kerwin Espinosa sparked controversy anew when it surfaced, but the senator said that it could just be one of the photo opportunities during her election campaign.
Asked about the photo, de Lima told the press, “I don’t remember this honestly. I don’t know Espinosa, even the father.”
De Lima was referring to Kerwin’s father, Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. of Albuera, Leyte.
“They are good at digging up dirt,” de Lima said of the photo.
“They were just among those who asked to take a photo with me. That’s not something like an arranged meeting or what. That was just a chance meeting, if that was in Baguio.”
The senator also explained that the woman in the background was her staff member and narrated that she was only approached while going around. “I think we were just going around and they approached me. I don’t know him. I don’t remember this. I’m sure of that.”
On Tuesday, August 30, Mayor Espinosa revealed that among the politicians and media personalities who were involved in Kerwin’s drug business, there was one senator named in his affidavit submitted to the police.
Albuera chief of police Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido claimed to have seen the ledger that was used as the basis for Espinosa’s affidavit. He said the senator involved used to be the secretary of the Department of Justice.
“May senador nga. May senador (na) isa, nakita ko. Dating secretary ng DOJ siguro yun… Nakita ko lang,” Espenido said, as quoted in a GMA News Online report.
De Lima was a former secretary of justice. She was also tagged by President Rodrigo Duterte in his drug matrix involving the drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison, but she has repeatedly denied the allegations linking her as a drug coddler.
Netizen blasts people’s logic in treating photo as ‘evidence’
Miyako Izabel slammed the logic in crucifying de Lima because she had a photo with Kerwin Espinosa, considering it as enough evidence that she is indeed a drug protector.
“May kinakalat ngayon na larawan ng isang politiko na kasama niya ang isang drug lord sa Leyte. Nagtataka ako kung ebidensya na ba ‘yan. Aba, para sa maraming Pilipino, oo raw, ebidensya na siya na sangkot ang nasabing politiko sa droga kahit kuha ito noong kampanya sa eleksyon,” Izabel said.
She then proposed to accept this line of thinking and brought up Duterte’s photo with Peter Lim, the Cebuano-Chinese businessman who was confirmed by PDEA Director Isidro Lapeña as the same Peter Lim in their list of target drug lords.
Memebuster compiled the photos of Duterte and Lim from previous occasions, including one from a wedding in which they were both principal sponsors, making them ‘kumpares.’
“Sige, tanggapin natin ‘yan at ang kanilang kahunghangang rason – dahil nasa larawan. Ebidensiya rin ba ito na sangkot ang pangulo sa droga dahil may larawan siyang kasama si Peter Lim na pintatotohanan ng PDEA na isang drug lord?” she asked.
“’Yan ang resulta ng baluktot na lohika. Kung ano ang sarsa para sa letsong inahin, ‘yon din ang sarsa para sa letsong tandang,” Izabel concluded.