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Monday, October 17, 2016
DOJ considers Kerwin Espinosa as possible witness against De Lima
The DOJ is eyeing drug lord Kerwin Espinosa as possible witness against Senator Leila De Lima
Espinosa will be assessed if he is qualified to be placed under the DOJ’s Witness Protection Program
Espinosa was arrested in Abu Dhabi on October 17 after months of hiding
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is considering placing Kerwin Espinosa under its Witness Protection Program (WPP) and is eyeing him as a possible witness against Senator Leila de Lima.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said he welcomes the arrest of the Eastern Visayas-based big-time drug lord as he could be used to testify against personalities involved in the illegal drug trade.
“Mabuti naman [Good], at least we could have an additional witness,” Aguirre said hours after Philippine National Police Chief Ronald De la Rosa announced Espinosa’s arrest in Abu Dhabi on Monday, October 17.
“Kung papayag siya. But I’m sure papayag ‘yun [If he is willing. But I’m sure he will want to],” Aguirre said during a news briefing at the DOJ office in Manila.
Aguirre said the DOJ will assess Espinosa if he will be qualified to be placed under the WPP.
“Kung papasa sa assessment ng [If he will pass the assessment of] WPP then we are going to offer immunity to him,” he told members of the media.
As per GMA News Online, Secretary Aguirre is not sure whether the immunity that would be given to Espinosa would cover his possible testimony on his involvement in the illegal drug trade or in the case that the DOJ is building against Senator De Lima.
“Yun ang medyo complicated. Ano bang immunity ang maiibigay natin sa kanya? [It’s somewhat complicated. What kind of immunity could be give him]. We will see,” Duterte said.