‘Humbled’ Espino accepts President Duterte’s apology

MANILA — Pangasinan Rep. Amado Espino Jr. on Tuesday accepted the public apology made by President Rodrigo Duterte for implicating him and two other local government officials to the illicit drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

“I am humbled by the pronouncement of the President today on clearing my involvement on the alleged drug matrix released last August 25, 2016,” Espino said in a statement.

”I kept my silence for the past three weeks as I know beyond reasonable doubt that I am not guilty of this allegation,” Espino added.

During an inspection of the alleged mega shabu laboratory in Arayat, Pampanga on Tuesday, President Duterte apologized for the drug matrix lapses which resulted from the lack of “counter-checking”.

”I would like to apologize to you publicly. I am sorry,” Duterte said, referring to Espino, provincial board member Raul Sison, and former Pangasinan provincial administrator Rafael Baraan.

Espino recalled his private meeting last Aug. 30 with President Duterte, who assured him that an immediate and thorough revalidation of the matrix will take place.

”Although my family and the people of Pangasinan were saddened by this unprecedented accusation, we remained steadfast on our respect and high regard on the discretion of the President and relied completely on his promised revalidation,” said Espino.

The Pangasinan lawmaker expressed his gratitude to the President “for being a true leader and a gentleman”.

Espino also assured President Duterte that he will support the current administration’s anti-drug war and peace and order campaign. Filane Mikee Cervantes/PNA-northboundasia.com