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Lack of ‘extort’ witnesses disappoints De Lima


Justice Secretary Leila De Lima

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Thursday expressed disappointment that no one in the Department of Justice (DOJ) had responded to her appeal to provide information on the possible involvement of more people in an extortion attempt that happened right in the premises of the DOJ.

De Lima said she ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct an entrapment operation in the office of Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Severino Gana Jr. of the National Prosecution Service on August 31.

De Lima made the disclosure during her speech at yesterday’s Orientation Workshop on the Operational Processes of the Internal Affairs Unit of the National Prosecution Service at G Hotel in Pasay City.

The other day, De Lima filed charges of grave misconduct, dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service against Gana, as well as his staff member Mutya de los Santos Santiago-Tobes and another DOJ employee, Louise Siquico Garcia, and placed them under 90-day preventive suspension.

She also asked the three to answer the charges against them in five days.

De Lima had alerted the NBI after she was informed by a certain Nuriza Abeja that Gana had reportedly asked her to pay Santiago-Tobes the amount of P300,000 for a favorable ruling in the adultery case filed against her by her husband.

Santiago-Tobes was charged by the NBI with robbery-extortion but she was able to post bail.

Abeja, in her complaint-affidavit, said it was Gana who had told her to pay the amount to Santiago-Tobes.

De Lima said Abeja’s statements were backed by “records of text messages and logs of phone calls made by the NPS employee to her.”

With this development, the justice secretary said more people could have been involved in the extortion scheme. She quoted Gana as telling Abeja that he could not pacify some people who had demanded that the money be immediately paid.

“Who are these people? That’s the biggest question,” she said.

De Lima reminded the prosecutors “not to weigh available evidence, but to seek it out, to build a case, to search for answers, to unearth the truth.”

She challenged them to “deliver to justice those who do not deserve to belong to the National Prosecution Service.”

De Lima said that she would rather “suffer the public humiliation” of  “dozens” more entrapment operations within the DOJ “if at the end of the day, we can rid the ranks of the NPS of the undesirables.”

“Because of recent events, I cannot help but doubt whether the people we are entrusting with the enforcement of the Codes of Conduct for the Prosecution Service and our good governance and anticorruption initiatives are, in fact, the right people to be investigating such nefarious activities within their very own ranks,” De Lima said in her speech.

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Tags: Crime , DoJ , extortion , Government , Justice , law , Leila de Lima

  • tonyoks

    yung nasa witness protection program nyo nga eh hindi nakaligtas…
    jan pa mismo sa sarili nyong bakuran?

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    Sec. de Lima kasi baka ang buong department mo ay nakikinabang sa katiwalian kaya walang mag squeal…..nagpo-proteksiyunan sila para mapanatili ang pagsasamantala nila sa kanilang position.

  • dikoy321

    GO GO GO Sec de Lima!
    Marami pa dyan, tahimik at nagtatago sila, dahil po mainit pa!  Lie LOW ika nga.
    Your pro-active attitude is bringing GOOD for the Philippines and its citizens!

    FORWARD   P H I L I P P I N E S !!!

  • padrefaura

    gumagawa lang si De lima ng dahilan para hindi maglinis ng bakuran nya. 
    kunwari walang ebidensya. 

  • OleSapra aka ARGUS


    ANA: “Ano na ba ang nangyari sa isinampang kaso ng EXTORTION noong May 13, 2010 ni Sir Leo vs a tripartite ng subdivision developer, pekeng homeowners association at ang mismong Manila Water sa Taytay? Hanggang sa kasalukuyan kasi eh patuloy pa nilang KINOKOTONGAN ang mga lehitimong homeowners.”

    LISA: “Ano pa, eh di, IBINASURA ng humahawak na fi(x)cal ang kaso kapalit ng isang brandnew car ng tomboy na prosecuTONG. Nag-file ng petition for review si Sir Leo sa DOJ noong July 11, 2011 pero DISMISSED dahil sa technicality (read: PALUSOT), ni Prosecutor General Claro A. Arellano at promulgated nito noong January 30, 2012.”

    CION: “Ang BABAW ng dahilan ni ProGen Arellano – (A perusal of the petition shows that complainant-appellant failed and (sic) attach to petition, a legible true copy of the complaint and counter-affidavits, which is in violation of Section 5 of the aforesaid Department Circular). MAGKANO kaya ang dahilan, Sec De Lima, madam?”   

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/55XNXOYBNF6BG3EWOM5V4YMWXM Pedro


  • speedstream2

    And therein lies the challenge of restoring people’s faith in our justice system. Just keep at it, Ma’am. Shall we allow shady characters to continue running circles around law enforcement agencies and law-abiding citizens, and go scot-free?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CFZ2Q7RFJ6PWRYMM3NJ7JB4KSE Dynamic

    Just keep on keeping on,when harvest comes,you will have plenty.By the way ,de lima sounds better than de luna(m).

  • kalealaskador

    The Code of Omerta! Either they get paid for shutting up or they are threatened with bodily harm.

    Madam Secretary, maybe you should play it the same way. Either they talk or they lose their jobs!

    Let’s get serious. Ask any “old-timer” at the DOJ and they will identify who are dirty and who are clean. Maybe you just keep your eyes open. Start with the “Office of the Secretary”. Who are the people who “expedite”? You were not born yesterday.

  • Kristoffer Atienza

    Secretary, I add my voice to the growing number of people who support every move you make to clean up the department. I know a lot of them are saying, “Let’s hold out (our vices) until 2016. She won’t last anyway.” Like what every good person does, your influence of good will bear much fruit and people working there who do right service will see further the light of day and start helping you clean the Justice offices.  

  • sigena

    end of the day, si de lima ang mastermind

  • maypakialamtayo

    ayan pwede mo nang isingit si rico puno dyan sa DOJ, gawin mo syang eyes and ears mo, ano kasi ang inaatupag mo eh!, sa BI na under mo rin napapalusutan ka, sa NBI na under din sa’yo napapalusutan ka, kami rin disappointed na sa’yo, akala mo ba!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QZZKXPEA67I7HELEIYM35QVYFA Jon

    What comes around, goes around Dabiana.
    Ayaw mong tumestigo sa Senado, eh wala ring gustong tumestigo sa iyo sa DOJ. 
    Susunod lang naman sa ehemplo mo ang mga tao mo diyan.
    At ganoon ka-simple lang iyan.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4R3GZTGML26TV2VGS6RVHP2THM Fred

    Sec de Lima, wala ka talagang makukuhang cooperation sa DOJ
    to provide you information on possible involvement of others
    because most of them (maybe?) are involved.

    Kayo naman Mutya at Louise, ituro na ninyo si Gana na syang utak
    sa “decision-for-sale”.  Gusto nyo bang kayo lang ang makulong?

    Tutal makukulong na rin lang kayo, magsalita o magturo na kayo
    kung sinu-sino pa ang involved.  Damay damay na.

  • lostRunes

    So ibig sabihin De Lima gusto mo maging Chief Justice para linisin ang Supreme Court, kasing linis ng Department of Justice?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NPV7TOHIJPG3UMTLQDTHLQJR7Y Jack

    kung ano ang puno, ganoon din ang bunga

  • wakats

    How can de lima expects witnesses to come forward when she disclosed her entrapment plan in a forum at G Hotel in Pasay City.

    The DOJ secretary must learn to keep her mouth shut when necessity demands her silence…

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