Duterte matrix tags De Lima, ex-Pangasinan guv in drug trade

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday released a drug matrix showing the involvement of Sen. Leila de Lima and former Pangasinan governor and now Pangasinan Rep. Amado Espino Jr. in the narcotics trade inside the New Bilibid Prison.

The matrix also showed the links of De Lima's driver Ronie Dayan, former Justice Undersecretary Francisco "Toti" Baraan III, Pangasinan Provincial Administrator Rafael "Raffy" Baraan, retired Gen. Franklin Bucayo and Pangasinan Board Member Raul Sison.

According to the matrix, Dayan, the alleged lover of De Lima, is known as a "case fixer" of well-known politicians in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan.

Bucayo was reportedly designated as Philippine National Police Region I director through the help of De Lima. He was appointed as chief of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) after retirement but eventually resigned due to alleged involvement in illegal drugs.

As former Justice undersecretary, Francisco was in charge of the BuCor and allegedly coordinated with Bucayo.

READ: Ex-DOJ exec tags Leila

Rafael Baraan, the brother of Francisco, was allegedly used by Espino to cover his illegal activities, according to the matrix. He was appointed as provincial administrator but was dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman from office due to his involvement in black sand mining and quarrying.

Espino is currently facing charges of plunder. He is out on bail for the illegal mining case against him. The Pangasinan lawmaker is involved in black sand mining, quarrying and jueteng, as shown in the matrix.

"According to (Board Member) Raul Sison, 'Gov. Espino is the richest politician in the Northern Luzon,'" the matrix read. Espino has allegedly amassed unexplained wealth.

The president on Wednesday said that he would release a drug matrix showing the involvement of De Lima and one of his friends, who is a governor, to the drug trade.

Duterte stressed that there is no friendship in the war against drugs as he earlier vowed that the fight against drugs would be sustained and relentless.

"This fight against drugs will continue to the last day of my term," Duterte said.

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