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Not yet off the hook: Ping says Kerwin Espinosa’s inclusion in witness protection program only for physical security

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Self-confessed drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa’s inclusion in the witness protection program does not mean he will be free of liability for his involvement in the narcotics trade, Senator Panfilo Lacson said.

The former Philippine National Police chief said it will be the courts that will decide later on, during the trial proper, if he is qualified to be discharged as a state witness following the filing of proper motion and consideration of any opposition that may be filed against him.

“Being admitted into the WPP is not a guarantee that a respondent is automatically off the hook,” he said in a text message to reporters Friday (Jan. 6).

Lacson, however, believes Espinosa was qualified to be admitted to the WPP because he is not the “most guilty” party in the sale of illegal drugs in Visayas.

“At first I thought that Kerwin (Espinosa) was the most guilty, hence, he’d cannot be accepted into the WPP. However, his testimony states that he gets his supply from someone else with even bigger operations. Hence, it can be said that Kerwin (Espinosa) is not the most guilty, hence, may be accepted into the program.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Espinosa was admitted to the WPP sometime before Christmas following his transfer to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Aside from selling drugs, Espinosa claimed to have given P8 million for Senator Leila de Lima’s campaign kitty last year.