MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte must be brought before the bar of justice if a photo with a drug lord is a new standard in establishing the guilt of a person, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said Monday.
Trillanes said this as he warned his colleagues and the public against quickly believing the statement of self-confessed drug trader Kerwin Espinosa, who claimed to have given Senator Leila de Lima P8 million as protection money.
Espinosa said he gave the drug money to De Lima through her former aide and lover, Ronnie Dayan. His lone proof that he had indeed met with De Lima was a photo of them in Baguio supposedly taken in November 2015.
But Trillanes said Espinosa’s photo with De Lima is not conclusive proof that the two had illegal transactions.
“Pumunta ka ng Baguio, nandoon si Senator De Lima. She attended some conference at nagpa-picture ka. Ngayon, meron ka ng pruweba?”
(You went to Baguio and Senator De Lima was there, attending a conference. You just had your picture taken and now you’re using it as a proof?)
Trillanes said if this is the case, then Duterte must also be held accountable for supposedly coddling a drug personality, since he has at least two photos with suspected Visayas drug lord Peter Lim.
“I’m not ready to make a judgment dahil picture iyan, then huwag natin gamitin itong kay Senator De Lima…Kung gagamitin natin itong guilt by picture-taking aba eh huli na natin si President Duterte kasi pinakamalaking drug lord ang kakamayan niya,” Trillanes said.
(I’m not ready to pass judgment because that’s just a picture. If that’s the case then we should also apply the same for De Lima. If we will use this ‘guilt by picture-taking’, then President Duterte should be apprehended because he is seen shaking hands with a drug lord.)
“Iyung pictures na iyan will not mean anything and it should go both ways. Hindi pwedeng pag kalaban ka sa pulitika, gagamitin ang pictures at kapag hindi, wala iyan. Maging consistent tayo.”
(These pictures will not mean anything and it should go both ways. You don’t apply this just on your political opponents. Let’s be consistent.)
Trillanes believes that both Espinosa and Dayan are being pressured by the government to implicate De Lima to the drug trade.
"I'm so confident na kapag nagpalit ang administrasyon babaguhin mo ang kwento mo," Trillanes told Espinosa.
"Ikaw Ronnie Dayan ganoon din. Lalabas ang totoo."
(I'm so confident that when the administration changes, you will change your story. The same goes to you, Dayan. The truth will eventually come out.)