- Senator De Lima had denied personally knowing Kerwin Espinosa and his father, Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa
- De Lima said that the controversial picture showing her with Kerwin was probably taken during her election campaign when many strangers would go to her to have their pictures taken with her
- According to the Albuera police chief, the picture was submitted by Mayor Espinosa as a part of his affidavit revealing the names of lawmakers and policemen involved in illegal drugs
Senator Leila de Lima on Tuesday had denied personally knowing alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and his father, Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa. Her statement came after being shown at the Senate a picture of her together with Kerwin.
"Hindi ko kilala, hindi ko maalala yan. 'Nung eleksyon siguro yan (I do not know him, I cannot remember him. Maybe that picture was taken during the election). I don't know Espinosa, even the father,” the neophyte senator said.
De Lima suggested that her detractors are trying to dig up anything they could find to destroy her reputation.
"Ang galing-galing talaga nila. Nagka-kalkal sila (They are very impressive. They are desperate.)," De Lima pointed out.
According to the senator, her basis for thinking that the controversial picture was taken during the election campaign is because she can see some members of her campaign staff in the background. However, De Lima cannot exactly recall the exact place where the picture was taken.
"Nagpa-picture lang yan. Hindi yan one of those arranged meetings (He just wanted to have a picture taken with me. That is not an arranged meeting)," De Lima explained.
Mayor Espinosa recently alleged that several police officials and lawmakers, including a senator who was a former secretary of the Department of Justice, are involved in the illegal drug trade.
Albuera police chief Jovie Espenido said that the picture of Kerwin and De Lima was included in the affidavit submitted by the Albuera mayor.
De Lima had repeatedly denied the accusations that she is linked with illegal drugs and that she was a protector of drug lords operating at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) during her time as the Justice Secretary.
She is also heading the Senate committee which is probing the spate of summary killings under the President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration. – Kami Media