NBI files complaint against de Lima in connection with alleged Bilibid drug trade
A law enforcement agency filed a complaint on Thursday before the justice department against Senator Leila de Lima in connection with her alleged involvement in the illegal drugs trade at the New Bilibid Prison.
The fourth complaint against De Lima was filed this time by the National Bureau of Investigation, which conducted a fact-finding investigation on the proliferation of illegal drugs trade in the national penitentiary during her term as justice secretary in the Aquino administration.
The previous three complaints were filed by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), former NBI deputy directors Raul Lasala and Reynaldo Esmeralda, and inmate Jaybee Sebastian.
In a press conference, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the latest NBI complaint would be consolidated with three earlier complaints.
He said the justice department will issue the subpoena on De Lima and other respondents either today or early next week to require them to answer the charges
The latest complaint cited testimonies of witnesses, including inmates who testified in the House of Representatives inquiry and independent witnesses interviewed by NBI, and documentary evidence as basis for the complaint.
Meanwhile, a police official told a Senate hearing that de Lima allegedly got P8 million from the late Leyte town mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. Superintendent Jovie Espenido, police chief of Albuera town, said this was in an affidavit executed by Espinosa before he was killed in a alleged shootout with cops last week in a jail.
The NBI alleged that De Lima started receiving drug money as early as 2012.
"It is evident from the revelations of numerous witnesses as detailed in their sworn affidavits that herein subject Senator Leila De Lima [and the other government officials in the complaint were fully aware of the unlawfulness of their actions yet, still actively conspired with their superiors," the complaint stated.
The NBI complaint also named as respondents former Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan, former Bureau of Corrections Director Franklin Bucayu, NBI Deputy Director Rafael Ragos, De Lima's former security Joenel Sanchez, her former driver Ronnie Dayan, a certain Wilfredo Elli, Jesusa Francisco, Lyn Sagum, Julius Rejuso and a certain George for the same criminal and administrative charges, except drug charges.
De Lima claimed this is all part of the vendetta of President Duterte for her persistent pursuit of his involvement in the Davao death squad since she was chair of the Commission on Human Rights. DMS/ Emmanuel Tupas