Leyte congressman denies involvement with Espinosas

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 07 2016 09:11 PM

Photo courtesy of Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso's Facebook page

Leyte Rep. Vicente "Ching" Veloso denied Monday any involvement with slain Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and his son Kerwin, who is alleged to be a drug lord.

Veloso issued the denial after his inclusion in the sworn statement of Mayor Espinosa, who named alleged conspirators in the narcotics trade. 

Espinosa was shot dead by authorities on Saturday morning.

"Naisama na sana ako kung protektor ako...[but] until now I haven't received any notice that I was charged," he told media at the House of Representatives.

(They would have already charged me if I was really a protector, but until now I haven't received any notice that I was charged.)

"I will resign kung talagang may bahid kahit isang tingi ng katotohanan," he added.

(I will resign if there is a shred of truth in that allegation.)

Veloso, according to Espinosa's affidavit, allegedly talked to Kerwin about hiring goons to get rid of his enemies. 

"Eh sino ba ang kalaban ko, iisa lang naman kalaban ko, yung anak ng pinakamayamang kandidato doon. So that's garbage, this is nothing," said the former Court of Appeals judge.

(But who are my enemies? I only have one, the son of the wealthiest candidate there. So that's garbage, this is nothing.)

He hasn't even met the Espinosas, he said.

"The affidavit of Espinosa, in so far as it concerns me, is based on hearsay because a witness can testify only to those facts which he knows of his personal knowledge," he said, adding authorities have already assured him he wasn't being suspected of having drug ties.

Veloso also thinks the inclusion of his name in the affidavit was politically motivated, saying he has been at the forefront of Leyte's campaign against illegal drugs.

"I have always been a staunch anti-drugs advocate, even before Pres. Duterte was elected. Ultimately, I have never been - nor will ever be- a protector of anyone involved in the illegal drug trade. I will continue my efforts to prevent and quell the proliferation of drugs in the 3rd district of Leyte and in our nation," he said.