By Moira Encina
Eagle News Service
Self-confessed drug distributor Kerwin Espinosa on Tuesday, May 15, reiterated his call for the drug-related charges filed against him to be dismissed.
In his response-affidavit submitted before the new Department of Justice panel looking into the cases filed against him and several others, Espinosa said his “admission” he was a drug distributor in a Senate hearing in 2016 should not be used against him because there was no “proverbial corpus delicti”— or the supposed illegal drugs he distributed–that could corroborate his statements.
He said this was in much the same manner there was no evidence to back up President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim he had killed people.
“My statements are a matter of record. However, the complainant must be sniffing something stronger than shabu to think that such ‘admissions’ are sufficient for this Honorable panel to hold that probable cause exists to indict me for violation of RA 9165,” Espinosa said.
As for the fourth affidavit submitted by the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group supposedly to boost its case against him, Espinosa said it “only further highlights the incredible and unbelievable nature of (Adorco’s) story,” referring to Marcelo Adorco, the prosecution’s sole witness.
He noted what he said were the inconsistencies between the contents of the affidavits of the other respondents, and Adorco’s fourth affidavit, which was submitted during the preliminary investigation which then-Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre ordered resumed after a first panel of prosecutors junked the charges filed against him and his co-respondents.
The first panel had cited what it said were inconsistencies in the three Adorco affidavits earlier submitted by the CIDG in dismissing the charges.
Espinosa said the judicial affidavit of Virbeca Diano, his alleged accountant, could also not be used against him because of the alleged inconsistencies in her claims.
The judicial affidavit and supplemental judicial affidavits of his father, Rolando “Onik” Espinosa, where he admitted his son was engaged in illegal drug activities, were also only “worthless scraps of paper” because the “affiant is already dead,” the younger Espinosa said.
“In order to prosecute me, the prosecution needs to have the proverbial ‘smoking gun’… In the absence of this vital piece of evidence, all of the documents attached to the (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group’s) manifestation dated 27th April 2018 are woefully inadequate to result in a finding of probable cause against me,” he added.
During the hearing, co-respondent Peter Go Lim alias “Jaguar” was a no-show.
His lawyer, Magilyn Loja, cited death threats for Lim’s non-appearance.
Loja also merely presented a submission of evidence and not a counter-affidavit on behalf of her client, an act that was questioned by Assistant Solicitor General Angelita Miranda, who represented the CIDG.
According to Miranda, under the Rules of Criminal Procedure, only an affidavit should be submitted during the preliminary investigation.
The panel scheduled the next hearing to May 30.
Apart from Lim, the panel gave other respondents Peter Co and Lovely Impal the chance to submit their counter-affidavits.
The panel is also slated to issue an order for the management of the New Bilibid Prison and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology to allow Co and Impal to temporarily leave detention so they could attend the hearing and swear on the veracity of their counter-affidavits.