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Duterte: ‘I am sorry’

President Duterte yesterday publicly apologized to former Pangasinan governor and now Rep. Amado Espino and two other personalities for their inclusion in his controversial drug list.

In a press conference during an inspection of a seized mega shabu laboratory in Arayat, Pampanga, the Chief Executive cleared Espino, former Pangasinan provincial administrator Rafael Baraan, and Urbiztondo, Pangasinan board member Raul Sison from involvement in the drug trade.

“So to Espino, and even to Sison, and Baraan – yung kapatid, huwag yung undersecretary dahil sabit talaga yun – I would like to apologize to you publicly and I would say now, I am very sorry,” said the President.

Last August, the President released a drug matrix showing government officials and private individuals involved in the drug operations inside the national penitentiary. Named in the drug matrix are Senator Leila De Lima, former Justice Undersecretary Francisco “Toti” Baraan III, former Bureau of Corrections chief Franklin Bucayo, Espino, Baraan’s brother, Rafael; Sison, and De Lima’s alleged ex-lover, Ronnie Dayan.

Yesterday, however, Duterte admitted that there were lapses in the verification of the first narco-list submitted to him.

“I cannot be perfect and sometimes you are correct when you say that life is never fair,” the President said as he took full responsibility for implicating the names of Espino, Sison, and Rafael Baraan in the illegal drug trade. (Genalyn Kabiling)