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‘Bigger fish than De Lima’

  • Written by Efren Montano
  • Published in Top Stories
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Featured ‘Bigger fish than De Lima’

Officials in previous gov’t higher than then justice secretary likely linked to Bilibid drugs –– Aguirre

SOME Aquino government officials “higher” than former justice chief and now Sen. Leila de Lima are likely linked to the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP).

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre made this claim ahead of the investigation of the House of Representatives  set for today into the alleged proliferation of illegal drugs at the NBP during the previous administration.
   
“Sa ngayon po ay si [former] Secretary de Lima lamang ang pinakamaatas na opisyal ng gobyerno nung nakaraang administrasyon [ang dawit] pero ‘di po yan matatapos dyan sapagkat mayroong nagsasabi na ito ay tataas pa bukod kay De Lima. Pero sa ngayon po ay premature pa iyan sapagkat ang aming imbestigasyon ay patuloy pa,” Aguirre said.
   
De Lima allegedly received P3 million monthly when she was justice secretary, Aguirre said quoting convicted drug dealer Herbert Colangco.
   
“May mga delivery kay De Lima. Si Colangco nag-deliver ng P3 million a month kay De Lima,” Aguirre said.
     
Colangco is one of the high-profile inmates who will testify against  De Lima on her alleged drug links.
   
The Department of Justice has lined up 10 to 12 convicted drug personalities along with officials and agents of the National Bureau of Investigation as witnesses against De Lima in the House investigation into the proliferation of the illegal drug trade in the national penitentiary on her watch as justice chief.
   
Former NBI Deputy Director Rafael Ragos, who served as officer-in-charge of the Bureau of Corrections, will also shed light on the P5 million he allegedly gave De Lima. The money allegedly came from the inmates.
   
“‘Yung P5 million na ‘yun, dinala ‘yun sa bahay niya sa Parañaque... Mismong si De Lima (tumanggap) although present din si Ronnie Dayan,” Aguirre said.
   
Dayan is De Lima’s driver and alleged lover.
   
Aguirre later said Ragos delivered P5 million on “several instances” to De Lima’s house.
   
Aguirre added Ragos was with his driver-escort Junior Ablen in those visits.
   
Ragos is perceived to be a close ally of De Lima when she was DoJ chief, a position she held for more than five years from June 2010 to October 2015.
   
Aguirre said it was Ablen who first divulged that he was with Ragos in delivering drug money to De Lima.

Aguirre said this system began before 2013 in preparation for de Lima’s campaign for a senatorial post, which led to the increased proliferation of drugs at the New Bilibid Prisons.
   
De Lima said she is no longer surprised because she received a warning before about the plan to present manufactured evidence.
   
Aguirre said about 30 witnesses and resource persons will be presented on the first day of the probe.
   
He said some of the inmates voluntarily gave information to the government.
   
“Ang nangyari eh merong mga kamag-anak nitong mga inmates na ito, mga asawa, at kanilang mga abugado na pumunta sa DoJ at nagsasabi na ang kanilang mga kamag-anak daw eh naniniwala na sa kampanya ng Pangulong Duterte na dapat wakasan ang mga anomalya sa loob ng Bilibid,” he said.
   
(The relatives, wives and lawyers of these inmates have approached the DoJ to say that they now believe the campaign of President Duterte to end the drug trade inside Bilibid.)