MANILA — Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday challenged Senator Leila de Lima to present concrete evidence to disprove allegations in connection to her alleged involvement in the illegal drugs trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
“Nauubusan na yata ng katwiran si Senator De Lima. She should substantiate yung mga accusations nya pero kahit katiting wala syang ebidensyang maipakita,” Aguirre told reporters, commenting on De Lima’s statement describing the evidence against her as fake and manufactured.
De Lima earlier said that unlike Aguirre’s allegations against her which are “fake and cosmetic”, the killings are real and they continue unabated.
He said since it was De Lima who alleged that the evidence against her is fake, it follows that she must present evidence to prove such claim.
“She who claims must prove. Asan ang proof mo? Nothing. Zero,” the DOJ chief noted.
Aguirre also said Ronnie Dayan, De Lima’s former driver and alleged lover, might be granted immunity from suit if he will testify on the former DOJ chief’s alleged links to the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the national penitentiary.
Aguirre made this appeal as he admitted that Dayan, who is allegedly the one who collected campaign money for De Lima from high-profile inmates operating the alleged illegal drugs trade in the NBP, is nowhere to be found.
“Possible na mabigyan siya ng immunity basta totoo ‘yung sasabihin nya. Ang sa immunity naman or being a state witness, as long as you don’t appear as the most guilty, pwede kang bigyan ng immunity,” Aguirre explained.
He said House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez could offer the same immunity given to the witnesses who testified in the House’ inquiry on the proliferation of illegal drugs at the national penitentiary.
“The Speaker could offer you immunity like other witnesses. As long as the condition that he would tell only nothing but the truth,” he added.
But the DOJ chief said he is confident that they also have enough evidence to pin De Lima, citing the testimonies of the witnesses in the House’ inquiry as well as pieces of documentary evidence such as bank records.
Aguirre dared De Lima to face the accusations against her squarely and present evidence in her defense to clear her name.
Aguirre reiterated her criticism against De Lima, saying she did not do anything to curb the proliferation of illegal drugs at the national penitentiary during her term as DOJ chief.
He said De Lima condoned the privileges extended to high-profile inmates such as Jaybee Nino Sebastian.
“We have presented before the Justice Committee of the House of Representatives several witnesses showing that illegal drugs proliferated during her term as DOJ secretary. This could not have happened if she had done her job as DOJ secretary – the kubols, the privileges of the inmates-just like for Jaybee Sebastian and she saw all these violations but she did not do anything about these,” Aguirre added.
“Actually pag ang pag-uusapan lang ang existence of probable cause, definitely there is probable cause but I have been in practice for 44 years and I would not file a hao-shao case, it should be an airtight case,” he added. Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA-northboundasia.com