TACLOBAN CITY, Nov. 24 (PNA) — Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla was elated after alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa cleared his name from the drugs payola list during Wednesday’s Senate probe.
“I feel victorious,” said Petilla in the interview with PNA at his office after watching the inquiry’s live broadcast Wednesday night.
“This is one of the victories on battle against illegal drugs because the truth was revealed about the questionable affidavit that was executed with our names on it,” Petilla said.
Petilla together with his cousins Leyte Vice-Governor Carlo Loreto and Baybay City Vice-Mayor Michael Cari, and their relative Leyte 3rd district Rep. Vicente Veloso were cleared from illegal drugs trade in Leyte province.
The name of Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez was also cleared during the hearing.
Petilla said that the statement of Kerwin clearing their name in the drug trade sets the fight against illegal drug on the right path.
Putting their names in the affidavit of Mayor Espinosa makes them the scapegoat of people who are really involved in the illicit activity.
“If the truth was not revealed, the innocent are the ones who are implicated while the people who are actually involved remains free,” Petilla said.
The governor added that it would be better if Mayor Espinosa were not killed because he could also shed light on who was behind producing the affidavit.
Petilla said that his legal team are now studying possible actions against those people who implicated his name in the affidavit, including Chief Insp. Jovie Espinido of Albuera, Leyte police station.
But he wanted to see first the report conducted by the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation before taking legal actions.
“A lot of our evidences will be based on the findings of their investigation. I would want to see that report first for our legal team to come up with recommendations,” said Petilla.
Loreto agreed that affidavit was made to divert public attention on the real issue and who are the real culprits of illegal drugs are.
“Today’s hearing at the Senate is a most welcome development concerning the illegal drug trade in the country. I am happy that I have been finally cleared from the issue. This has been a vindication of my name and we are glad that the truth has come out,” Loreto said.
Loreto added that clearing their names was just the beginning of the fight against illegal drugs and there is need to pursue actions against the criminals and big syndicates behind the drug menace. (PNA)
ROEL T. AMAZONA/EGR