Kerwin Espinosa claimed Wednesday that Senator Leila de Lima received P8 million from him in 2015.
The suspected drug lord told senators that it was De Lima’s former driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan who made the demand for protection money.
At the resumption of the senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs hearing on the killing of Kerwin’s father, Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., the younger Espinosa said Dayan called him on his cellphone sometime in 2015.
He said Dayan identified himself as De Lima’s driver-bodyguard and informed him that the latter needs his help.
Espinosa then contacted Peter Co, also an alleged drug lord, to inquire if it is safe to deal with the former Justice secretary.
Co assured him that he can go ahead with the transaction but to keep it secret.
Two days after the first call, Dayan again phoned Espinosa to tell him that De Lima was asking P2 million monthly from him.
Espinosa told Dayan that he cannot afford to give such amount and instead offered P700,000 per month.
Dayan replied that he will consult De Lima about his offer.
After a few hours, Dayan called and told him that De Lima has accepted his offer but he has to give P2 million as “goodwill” money to which he agreed.
Espinosa said he raised P2 million in two days and handed the money to Dayan at the parking lot of Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
He then asked Dayan if their deal regarding the P700,000 monthly protection money is good, but De Lima’s aide informed him that the deal has been changed and that he should instead raise P8 million before the 2016 elections.
Espinosa added that Dayan assured him that De Lima is willing to provide him protection and other business opportunities after the election.
He said he was able to give the P8 million to De Lima in several installments. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA