The Senate committee on justice and human rights will try to unmask the mastermind behind the killing of detained Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa through his son, Kerwin Espinosa, Senator Richard Gordon said yesterday.
Gordon said the younger Espinosa, who arrived from Abu Dhabi last Friday, would be invited to the committee’s next hearing this Wednesday, Nov. 23.
Kerwin was deported to the country after he was arrested in Abu Dhabi.
Mayor Espinosa was killed in an alleged shootout with members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) inside his detention cell in Baybay, Leyte, last Nov. 5.
“Ang tutumbukin ng Senate hearing, ay kung ang sanhi ng kanyang pagpatay ay dahil totoo ang sinasabi niya (sa affidavit). Kapag mapatunayan ni Kerwin yun, hahanapin ngayon natin kung sino ang nagpapatay. Malalaman natin yan.
Lahat ‘yan ngayon suspect,” said Gordon in a DZBB interview.
Gordon was referring to the mayor’s affidavit and the list of drug personalities he detailed in the so-called “blue book.”
Part of the mayor’s list included Senator Leila de Lima who allegedly received R8-million from the Espinosa as campaign contribution for her senatorial bid last May 2016 elections.
However, Gordon said it is too soon to say that Kerwin would be a reliable witness in the upcoming hearing.
“Magiging credible ‘yun kung siya ang most guilty at siya ay magtestify siya, pero kailangan pa rin i-corroborate yan,” Gordon said.
In a separate radio interview, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, who earlier met with Kerwin after the latter’s arrival in Manila, said the young Espinosa made “shocking” revelations about the illegal drug trade.
“Hindi ko na siguro babanggitin mga sinasabi niya magkakaroon naman siya ng affidavit. Dun na lang sa affidavit niya,” Pacquiao said.
However, Pacquiao said Kerwin did not admit he was a drug lord.
“Hindi ko narinig sa kanya na drug lord siya pero inamin niya na business nila ay drugs,” he said.
Nevertheless, Kerwin, according to Pacquiao, is ready to testify and bare what he knows about the drug trade.
“Ready siya, willing siya at ang sabi niya sa akin dahil pinatay nila ang tatay ko kaya sasabihin ko talaga ang mga kasabwat at mga tumanggap,” Pacquiao said quoting Espinosa.
Asked if he believes what Kerwin said were true, the boxing champion said everything he said was believable: “Sa tingin ko kapani paniwala kasi detailed niyang ipinahayag.”
Meanwhile, Gordon said it is up to their colleague if she still wants to take part in the proceedings of the Senate committee or inhibit herself. (HANNAH L. TORREGOZA)