De Lima denies millions in banks
MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Leila de Lima on Friday denied owning fat bank accounts that could purportedly link her to the drug trade, decrying as mere fabrications Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II latest statements against her.
“I have no millions or billions in my bank accounts. And I have no dummy accounts. Any alleged accounts that would be linked to me and my alleged drug links can only be fictitious,” De Lima, President Rodrigo Duterte’s most vocal critic, told the Inquirer.
“Sec. Aguirre and his operators are a mafia of lies and intrigues who go to bed with criminal convicts just to get their perjured testimonies. In exchange, they give them immunity, immunity for drug lords and convicted criminals,” she said in a text message.
Aguirre earlier said the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has submitted to his office proof of bank transactions worth P500 million to P1 billion that could have later been transferred to De Lima’s accounts.
He claimed the accounts were not under the senator’s name as “she uses people to collect on her behalf.”
The DOJ is accusing De Lima of profiting from the drug trade inside the national penitentiary during her stint as justice chief.
Several drug convicts presented by Aguirre before a House of Representatives inquiry earlier this week attested to the charge, saying De Lima herself had collected drug money from them.
De Lima has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying it was part of efforts to discredit her name when she had initiated a Senate inquiry into the spate of killings under Duterte’s bloody war on drugs.
Last Monday, Duterte’s allies in the Senate ousted her as chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, taking away her control of the drug deaths investigation she had initiated. Elected to replace her was Sen. Richard Gordon.
The senator’s 2014 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth, the latest submitted during her time as a Cabinet member of former President Benigno Aquino III, showed that her net worth was P4.88 million, slightly higher than her 2013 declaration of P4.59 million. RAM/rga
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