‘Leila, Espino in cahoots’

They protected each other’s illegal activities—sources

PANGASINAN Rep. Amado Espino Jr. and Senator Leila de Lima, who were tagged by President Rodrigo Duterte as part of a narcotics web that he made public Thursday, protected each other’s illegal activities, sources told the Manila Standard.

The sources are likely to testify against Espino, De Lima and her alleged ex-lover Ronnie Dayan.

“Espino protected De Lima to fly in and out undetected of the mansion to visit Dayan when the then Justice secretary would want a “private and undisturbed sexual tryst” with her lover, sources privy to the illegal operations told the Manila Standard.

The trysts happened in a mansion brought by De Lima in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan for Dayan allegedly using “drug money” from inside the New Bilibid Prison.

Espino and De Lima were brought together by the Baraan brothers, who also served as their bagmen.

Then Department of Justice undersecretary Francisco Baraan III, who was in charge as supervisor of Bureau of Corrections, was trusted by De Lima; and brother Raffy Baraan, who served as Espino’s provincial administrator, took care of all of Espino’s illegal activities and collections.

A graduate of the Philippine Military Academy Class 72, Espino, over the years, was able to build connections and drug and jueteng networks with his fellow PMAers, whom he tapped to protect De Lima and Dayan from their illegal activities in NBP, the sources said.

“Most of Espino’s mistahs are now generals in the national police and the armed forces,” the source said.

Espino was a full colonel when he first became a congressman, the source added.

In turn, De Lima protected Espino from any legal cases that would result from the former governor’s illegal activities.

“De Lima is such a liar. The President was correct when he said De Lima is lying through her teeth. She did not file any case against Espino. She sat on it. She protected him. The illegal black sand mining operations case was filed in 2011. All the time that she was DoJ secretary, nothing happened to it until close to the elections, but Espino was spared and it was Raffy Baraan, who was made the sacrificial lamb and was dismissed from the service,” one of the sources, who requested anonymity, told the Manila Standard.

De Lima, the source said, also did nothing when there was a plunder complaint filed against Espino, who was tagged as a jueteng lord in Pangasinan.

In a 2012 sworn affidavit, a copy of which was furnished the Manila Standard, former Bugallon Mayor Rodrigo Orduna, an alleged bagman of Espino, said Espino started as a protector of jueteng lords when he was congressman for two terms but became a jueteng lord himself when he became a governor for another two terms.

Espino, in a news conference, branded the allegation as “old hat” and “politically motivated” because he was at the time running for reelection for governor against Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza of the Liberal Party.

Espino at the time was running as an official candidate of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, the second largest party in the country. Pangasinan was declared a “free zone” in the 2013 midterm polls.

The source said former Interior secretary Manuel Roxas II was with Orduna when the latter held a news conference in Camp Crame against Espino. Official records show Orduna said Espino had pocketed a total of P1 billion from jueteng operations alone.

Orduna said he delivered jueteng kickbacks amounting to P2.5 million every Saturday when he was congressman.

“Mayor Orduna was dropped like a hot potato and was left holding an empty bag by Mar Roxas and Pnoy [President Benigno Aquino III]. Orduna had to uproot from Pangasinan for fear for his life. The protection promised by Mar Roxas never came and the last thing we heard, Espino and Mar Roxas became allies versus the Cojuangcos of the NPC in the 2016 elections,” the source said.

“Not contented with the P1 billion that he acquired when he was merely a jueteng protector and congressman, Espino became bolder and greedier when he became governor and started engaging in illegal drugs, became a jueteng lord, operated illegal black sand mining and quarrying operations and all kinds of illegal activities,” the source said.

“Yes, I will testify against Espino if asked by President Duterte. Espino has destroyed many lives and families due to his illegal activities,” the source said.

In Davao City, Duterte bared a matrix containing seven names of drug operators in the NBP that were allegedly jointly operated by De Lima and Dayan.

Duterte gave out copies of the matrix to the members of the media, early Thursday and did not give any statement related to the matrix.

The matrix shows that Dayan served as a case fixer of well-known politicians in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan.

“De Lima gave a house and lot, a Montero, a Kia Sedan, money and employed Jonathan Cardeso Carabto at DoJ [Department of Justice] upon the recommendation of Dayan,” the matrix states.

The matrix states that he used a certain Ms. Cardenosa as a dummy for his properties.

“Ronnie Palisoc Dayan AKA Boss De Lima received monthly payola from Gen. Bucayu through SPO1 Palisoc of PRO 1,” it added.

It also divulged the connection of former Bureau of Corrections chief Franklin Bucayu and Pangasinan 5th District Representative Amado T. Espino Jr.

“He [Espino] is charged with plunder/ on bail on illegal mining case. Involved in black sand mining, quarrying and jueteng,” the matrix said.

It added that according to Board Member Raul Sison, Espino is the richest politician in the Northern Luzon.

The matrix also shows the involvement of brothers Francisco Baraan III and Raffy Baraan.

Raffy is a loyal follower of Espino, while his brother Francisco is a trustee of De Lima and was supervisor of the Bureau of Corrections.

“[Raffy] designated as Pangasinan Provincial Administrator, [but was] dismissed by the Ombudsman because of black sand mining and quarrying,” the matrix shows.

According to the matrix, Raffy was used to cover all his illegal activities.

Meanwhile, Presidential Communication Office chief, Secretary Martin Andanar earlier said that the drug matrix revealed by Duterte is based on the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Philippine National Police investigation.

Duterte said that he worries for the future generation especially with illegal drugs destroying the country.

“Three million addicts and you expect me to remain passive? Destroy them, that is my order,” Duterte said.

He added that if there is anybody who should go to prison because the authorities’ keeps on hunting the drug personalities, it should be him since the order came from him.

“I am not trying to pin down any resident, but they let this things happen that is why we have a big problem right now,” he said.

He also said he will help all policemen who will be charged with cases in line with their anti-illegal drug operation.

“I will protect them,” he said “I don’t care as long as it is in the line of duty.”

However, Duterte warned all police officers involved in illegal drugs: “You are dead… you cannot suppress the truth.”

Another player in De Lima’s drug apparatus is former Pangasinan provincial board member Raul Sison whose father is the mayor of Urbiztondo, Martin Raul Sison II. Raul is a cousin of De Lima’s driver, Dayan.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Thursday that Duterte’s matrix had undergone a process of validation.

Topics: Drug link matrix , Leila De lima , illegal activities , illegal drugs , Amado Espino Jr ,
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