Convicted drug lord Vicente Sy says ‘he never gave money’ to De Lima–legal counsel
MANILA, Philippines — Convicted drug lord Vicente Sy, one of the high-profile inmates at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), revoked his earlier statements that he gave money to detained Senator Leila de Lima, the senator’s lawyer said.
Attorney Boni Tacardon said Vicente Sy confirmed that he never met and gave P500,000 cash to the senator. Sy revealed this during a hearing about De Lima’s drug charges at Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 205 held Friday.
“Si Vicente Sy ay tumestigo noon at sinabi niya na nag-ambag daw siya ng halagang 500k para daw sa kampanya ni Senator De Lima noong 2012. Pero sa aming pagtatanong kanina, sinabi niya na kailanman ay hindi siya nagbigay ng pera kay Senator De Lima at sinabi rin niya na hindi niya kilala si De Lima,” Tacardon said in a statement on Friday.
(Vicente Sy testified last time and he said he gave P500,000 for the campaign of De Lima in 2012. But during the hearing earlier, Sy said he never funded De Lima and that he did not know the senator.)
De Lima, then Justice secretary, led a raid and uncovered Sy’s luxurious kubols in 2014.
Public Attorney Office’s (PAO) Lawyer Rigel Salvador, who was also present in the hearing, disclosed that he had no personal knowledge of the accusations that De Lima was involved in the illegal drug trade at the national penitentiary, Tacardon said.
In addition, Salvador said he only notarized Sebastian’s sworn statement implicating De Lima in the illegal drug trade inside the NBP, which the prosecution claimed was made by the late Bilibid inmate Jaybee Sebastian, who reportedly died of COVID-19 last July 18.
“Sa aming pagtatanong kay Atty. Salvador, inamin niya na hindi naman siya ang gumawa ng nasabing Salaysay ni Jaybee Sebastian at ang tangi niyang partisipasyon dito ay ang mag-notaryo lang. Pinatotoo niya na hindi niya alam ang laman nito at hindi niya alam kung lahat ng nakasaad dito ay totoo,” Tacardon went on.
(After questioning Salvador, he admitted that he did not create Jaybee Sebastian’s statement and that his participation was only that he notarized such a statement. He said he did not know the contents of the statements and also if the statements were verified.)
The senator is detained at Camp Crame Custodial Facility over the drug charges, which she said were “trumped up.”
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