Duterte: De Lima will surely be jailed
PRESIDENT Duterte is certain Sen. Leila de Lima will be put behind bars, citing her alleged key role as then justice secretary in enabling convicted drug lords to create the central headquarters of narcopolitics inside New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
“She will be jailed, that is for sure, because of testimonial evidence,” Mr. Duterte said on Monday in a speech in Malacañang.
“She should be worried, these are serious charges. She should not adopt a nonchalant attitude about all of these things because she opened the portals of narcopolitics to take hold in the national level,” he added.
The President said the Department of Justice (DOJ), after completing its investigation, would file charges against De Lima for violation of the illegal drugs act, which he pointed was not bailable.
He said on the day he told De Lima to go “hang herself,” he got all of the evidence against her.
“I am sure of my evidence. You started in Davao and you wanted to be well known. The next time she’s in prison, there is no more worry about liaisons and dalliances. She is in prison, I will just connect the prison for men and women so she can have all the lovers there she wants,” Mr. Duterte said.
He said that while De Lima’s ambition to run for higher office was good, her “sexuality” brought her down. “When her sex video came out, she was finished. Would you vote for her now? Even for barangay captain?”
If he would be allowed to question De Lima in a no-holds barred open court, Mr. Duterte said he would ask why she went into a “kubol” of a convicted criminal, Jaybee Sebastian, and turned him into a “government asset.”
“Is that the normal work of a secretary of justice? Do you not trust the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) or military [for you] to have your own asset? Was that a sexual asset or source of information?” he said.
Mr. Duterte said he would show a sex video of De Lima and ask her if her partner was the one in the kubol, referring to Sebastian, or the one driving her, alluding to Ronnie Dayan, described as her former bodyguard, driver, lover and bagman.
The President said he was puzzled why De Lima would spend four hours inside the kubol of Sebastian if they were only supposed to be discussing the drug situation in NBP.
Duterte dismissed De Lima’s supposed evidence linking him to the Davao Death Squad as “garbage” as it came from a former political rival with whom he had reconciled (former Speaker Prospero Nograles) and was based on testimony of confessed hit man Edgar Matobato, who had been with her as early as 2014 as a whistle-blower. This has not resulted in any case filed against Matobato, he said.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II told reporters on Monday that the DOJ had rejected an offer by Sebastian to testify in the congressional hearings not on illegal drugs but on alleged food supply anomalies in the penitentiary.
He also wanted to be admitted in the DOJ witness protection program.
In the December 2014 raid led by De Lima on NBP, Sebastian was allowed to remain in the penitentiary while 19 other drug kingpins were transferred to the NBI detention facility in Manila.
Convicts who testified last week said the move allowed Sebastian to consolidate control over the drug trade in NBP, but De Lima said he was a government informant.
Aguirre said he wanted Dayan to testify in the House of Representatives hearing, but that he had disappeared.
The DOJ also wants to summon Jonel Sanchez, De Lima’s former aide and bagman, and former Bureau of Corrections Director Franklin Jesus Bucayu to the hearing of the House committee on justice.
Bucayu has sent feelers expressing willingness to testify, Aguirre said.
He said the testimony of Jonathan Caranto, former staff member of De Lima at the DOJ, would be used to pin down De Lima on criminal and administrative charges to be filed in the Office of the Ombudsman.
“We will be presenting more resource persons but not anymore inmates,” Aguirre said.
P-Noy not involved
He dismissed De Lima’s suggestion that former President Benigno Aquino III was being linked to illegal drug activities.
He said the senator was “running out of reasons due to mounting evidence linking her to the drug syndicates at NBP.”
He repeated his earlier claims that the Anti-Money Laundering Council had provided documents purporting to show drug money ending up in De Lima’s bank accounts. With a report from Estrella Torres
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