Laguna solon denies links to bribe try, says accusation ‘unfair’
BIÑAN CITY–A partymate of President Rodrigo Duterte has denied involvement in the alleged attempt to bribe high-profile inmates to retract their testimonies against Sen. Leila de Lima.
“I strongly deny that,” said Biñan City Rep. Marlyn Alonte-Naguiat on Friday.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II named Alonte and former Sen. Jamby Madrigal as those behind an attempt to offer P100 million to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) inmates who implicated De Lima to drug charges.
Alonte-Naguiat, a former Biñan mayor, ran and won as representative under the Liberal Party but joined the administration Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) after the 2016 elections.
Aguirre, in a radio interview, said Lalaine Madrigal Martinez, wife of convicted kidnapper Noel Martinez, had told him about the bribery attempts which supposedly took place on Wednesday and Thursday. The inmates, he said, turned down the offer.
“I don’t even know any of the inmates. I have never gone to Muntinlupa (New Bilibid Prison) myself,” Alonte-Naguiat told the Inquirer.
While she admitted being close to actress Kris Aquino, a sister of former President Benigno Aquino III, she said she only knew De Lima “through the party,” referring to LP.
“(De Lima) texted me once to greet me on my birthday but that’s just it,” she said.
She said she was not even close to Madrigal.
Alonte also said she “felt bad” that Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez wanted an investigation into her alleged involvement.
“I think it’s unfair but at the end of the day, my conscience is clear and I am on the side of truth. (Nevertheless,) I still deserve an apology,” she said. CDG/rga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.