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Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said he will try to find out if alleged bagman Ronnie Palisoc Dayan has any connections with the Criminal Investigation Division Group (CIDG) Region 8 officials accused of being involved in the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Roland Espinosa, Sr.
Lacson, chair of Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, which is bent on resuming its investigation into the Espinosa killing on Monday, Dec. 5 said it was already a known fact that Sen. Leila de Lima has links to Kerwin Espinosa since his testimony and that of Dayan jived during the last hearing of the House committee on justice.
During a Senate hearing, Kerwin Espinosa, the mayor’s son and suspected drug lord in the Visayan region said he gave P8-million funds to de Lima in tranches as campaign contribution, a matter which Dayan, confirmed at the continuation of the House hearing on the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
But Dayan argued the transactions happened in 2014 and not in 2015 as what Espinosa said during the Senate hearing.
Lacson said it could have been possible that de Lima visited the town of Albuera, Leyte during the campaign period of the May 2016 elections.
“We want to know, did Dayan have any connection with the group at the CIDG? We cannot discount the fact that de Lima’s links with Kerwin is already established due to the statements of Kerwin and Dayan. So we are looking at the possibility, did Dayan and De Lima go there?” Lacson asked.
“Remember that in 2015 all candidates were already going around for the 2016 elections. Where they able to get acquainted when they went to Leyte?” he said.
“That’s what we want to establish also in the upcoming hearing, so that when we draft the committee report, it would all be clear,” added the senator.
De Lima ran for senator under the Liberal Party during the 2016 elections. She has vehemently denied reports linking her to the drug trade particularly inside the NBP.
Among the CIDG Region 8 officials whom the Senate is investigating for their direct participation in the alleged raid inside the Baybay sub-provincial jail where Mayor Espinosa was killed are P/Supt. Marvin Marcos, PC/Insp. Leo Laraga, and P/Supt. Santi Noel Matira. (Hannah L. Torregoza)