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Leila to snub House Bilibid drugs inquiry

  • Written by Marlon Purificacion
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 136

SENATOR Leila de Lima will not appear in this week’s House inquiry into the drug trade in the New Bilibid Prisons which will hear several convicts testify on her alleged links to the anomaly.

At the same time, De Lima cried foul over accusations that convicted drug lords raised millions in cash to fund her poll campaign last May.

“With or without an invitation, I will not attend that hearing. I will not even send any representative, lawyer or even an observer. I’m not at all recognizing that proceedings. It is a sham inquiry with no objective other than to demolish or destroy me, upon orders of the president,” De Lima said.
   
She accused the Duterte administration of blackmailing and bribing inmates at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) to fabricate testimonies against her at a congressional inquiry.
   
The senator maintained that she never received “even a single cent” from convict Jaybee Sebastian, who allegedly ordered gangs in the NBP to contribute P16 million to De Lima’s campaign kitty by selling narcotics.
   
“Puro po kasinungalingan ang lalabas diyan. Hindi po ako coddler, hindi po ako protector ng mga drug convicts or drug lords. Lalong- lalo na, wala po akong tinatanggap kahit singko kaninuman — convict man o hindi,” De Lima said in a radio interview.
   
An inmate who will face the inquiry of the House of Representatives claims that Sebastian, who was convicted of carjacking and kidnapping, organized the “fundraising” for De Lima sometime in 2014.
   
One inmate said Jad de Vera, an alleged nephew of De Lima, would collect the money twice a week.
   
Those who defied the order were allegedly transferred to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) jail in Manila and suffered an end to their VIP perks.
   
“Ang mga so-called witnesses na iyan can only be false, perjured or coerced. Magsisinungaling o nagsisinungaling po lahat iyan. It’s either tinakot sila o may mga ipinangako sa kanila,” she said.
   
The high-profile convicts, she said, also loathe her as she ordered a series of raids on their luxurious “kubols” and transferred them to the NBI facility and later to a high-security facility at NBP.