Sen. de Lima says she expected ex-BuCor chief to have defended her from alleged drug links

MANILA — Senator Leila de Lima said Friday she expected former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) director Franklin Bucayu to have defended her in his testimony during the congressional hearing on the alleged proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

De Lima’s remark came after Bucayo said that the neophyte senator had visited the quarters of NBP inmate Jaybee Sebastian, who has been tagged as de Lima’s favored inmate.

She claimed that her former colleague was probably tipped to say fabricated stories to further insinuate that she did receive money from NBP inmates to use for her election campaign.

“I am not expecting that Dir. Bucayo would say such a thing. Maybe that was one of the things fed to him to say something not good about me. Personally, it’s not in the character of Dir. Bucayo to do such a thing,” de Lima said.

“I would have expected more from Dir. Bucayo in terms of defending me, in terms of disproving the lies that were made up by previous witnesses. Maybe he was tipped that he should say something negative against me,” she added.

De Lima admitted that she did visit Sebastian with other NBP officials once or twice but never by herself.

She also denied accepting money or that she even knew convict and ex-cop Engelberto Durano, who claimed that he was ordered by another convict, Jeffrey Diaz alias “Jaguar”, to deliver some PHP1.5 million in drug money to her.

Durano claimed that Jaguar worked with de Lima’s then driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan.

The senator said she received information from sources she did not mention that Durano is a corrupt ex-cop. Azer Parrocha/