DOJ chief Aguirre: Witnesses claim De Lima personally received drug money
September 15, 2016 By VIRGIL LOPEZ, GMA News
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Thursday they already have witnesses to prove that Sen. Leila De Lima personally received money from drug lords operating from the New Bilibid Prison.
Aguirre said the two witnesses, who will be presented at the upcoming House investigation on the proliferation of illegal drugs at the NBP, claimed De Lima allegedly got P5 million in just one delivery in her house in Parañaque City.
“Isang talaan (delivery) lang ‘yan. May kasunod pa,” he said in a phone interview.
Aguirre said 10 to 12 witnesses, which include inmates, National Bureau of Investigation officials and agents, also directly linked De Lima to the illegal drug trade, particularly in the NBP, which was under her supervision when she was Department of Justice secretary from June 2010 to October 2015.
He said the high-profile inmates will appear before the House investigation and will soon be transferred to another detention facility to ensure their safety.
“Magugulat ka. Di ba sinasabi ko na sa inyo na bumabaha ang information against her at nakuha na ang kanilang affidavit,” Aguirre said.
Aguirre then criticized De Lima for using the Senate, through presenting a witness linking President Rodrigo Duterte to vigilante killings, to deflect public attention from allegations of her involvement in the illegal drug trade.
“This is a futile attempt to divert the public’s attention against the parties who are responsible for drugs in the BuCor (Bureau of Corrections which supervises the NBP). Desperate times call for desperate measures and somebody is really desperate!” Aguirre said in a separate statement.
Duterte had said a former driver of the senator was collecting money for her from convicted drug lords.
Weeks later, reports came out that P88.5 million was deposited in five bank accounts at Banco de Oro, all held by people allegedly linked to De Lima.
Two DOJ receiving clerks, identified as Jonathan “Jong” Caranto and Edna “Bogs” Obuyes, earlier executed affidavits stating that they did not own the accounts, which are still undergoing investigation.
As of posting time, GMA News Online was still awaiting the reply of De Lima to Aguirre’s statements.
But De Lima has repeatedly denied the allegations which she believes are related to the ongoing Senate investigation into the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
She also rebuffed calls from Duterte to resign, saying that by doing so would be a sign of guilt and weakness. — RSJ, GMA News