Ombudsman won’t carry out own probe of De Lima
The Office of the Ombudsman is not likely to initiate its own investigation of Senator Leila De Lima in light of a lack of firm leads and because of a pending probe by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Asked by reporters about the possibility of a motu proprio investigation, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said: “It’s not going to happen because lahat pa lang ito allegations pa lang eh (everything is just an allegation so far).”
“Wala pa namang lead (There is no lead) that will prompt us to initiate an investigation,” Morales added.
She also cited the DOJ’s pending probe on the two criminal complaints filed separately by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption last Tuesday and former National Bureau of Investigation deputy directors Ruel Lasala and Reynaldo Esmeralda last Thursday.
The said complaints accused De Lima and other officials who served under her during her tenure as Justice Secretary of conspiracy for their alleged participation in the illegal drug trade. The DOJ convened an investigating panel composed of five prosecutors to look into the complaints.
Morales noted that the results of the DOJ’s investigation will be forwarded to her office, which has jurisdiction over high-ranking government officials.
READ: DOJ rushes De Lima probe
“DOJ should be given the opportunity to conduct a fact-finding investigation,” she said. “When the case comes to us, and if I believe the fact-finding investigation is exhaustive enough to merit our preliminary investigation if there is a crime committed, then we’ll go through it.”
On the other hand, Morales said that the case filed by Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido, police chief of Albuera, Leyte, has yet to be forwarded by the Ombudsman’s Visayas office. RAM/rga
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