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De Lima asks: What US intel info?

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 12:55 AM March 17, 2017
Sen. Leila de Lima —JOSEPH VIDAL

Sen. Leila de Lima —JOSEPH VIDAL

What foreign intelligence?

Detained Sen. Leila de Lima had this response on Thursday to reports of a supposed US intelligence information that could prove the drug charges against her.

The claim is out of this world, she said.

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“It might as well be intel from the planet Mars or Jupiter,” De Lima said in a handwritten note from her cell in Camp Crame, released publicly on Thursday afternoon.

Spurious claim

“I highly doubt whether there’s such a US intel. If there is, it must be a spurious one, or based on a highly dubious or polluted source or sources,” she said.

De Lima called for the release of the intelligence information, about which Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito spoke to reporters on Wednesday, saying President Rodrigo Duterte mentioned it during dinner with members of the Senate majority bloc in Malacañang on Tuesday night.

“I demand that the details of such so-called US intel, if there is one, be made public so I can confront them,” she said.

US intel on drug cases

Ejercito said Mr. Duterte claimed to have US intelligence information that backed up the state’s drug cases against De Lima filed in Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court.

The senator, the highest-profile critic of Mr. Duterte’s deadly war on drugs, was arrested on Feb. 24.

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Largely based on testimonies of convicts serving their sentences in New Bilibid Prison, the cases alleged that De Lima received money from the illegal drug trade run from the national penitentiary during her tenure as secretary of justice.

Citing Mr. Duterte’s remarks, Ejercito said the US intelligence would show that the cases against De Lima were “not trumped-up charges, that there’s basis.”

Intel from DEA?

The information allegedly came from the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and was shared with the Philippines’ National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.

Another lawmaker said the US information was forwarded to Philippine authorities by the US state department.

“Another big lie! Incessant black propaganda,” De Lima said.

The senator insisted that she was not involved in the drug trade.

Senate inquiry

“May I assure my gullible colleagues in the Senate and our people that I have absolutely nothing to do with the illegal drug trade,” she said.

De Lima has said the charges brought against her were Mr. Duterte’s way of getting back at her for investigating in 2009, as chair of the Commission on Human Rights, extrajudicial killings in Davao when he was mayor of the city and launching an inquiry last year, as senator, into summary executions in his war on drugs.

Mr. Duterte was the first to accuse De Lima of involvement in the drug trade last August, just as the senator was launching the inquiry.

After winning presidential elections last May, Mr. Duterte warned Congress not to investigate a crackdown on illegal drugs that he planned or there would be a clash between him lawmakers.

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TAGS: JV Ejercito, Leila de Lima, Rodrigo Duterte, US Drug Enforcement Agency, US intel on De Lima
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