MANILA - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is one step closer to being confirmed after getting the nod of the justice committee of the Commission on Appointments.
Her confirmation will go to the plenary on Wednesday afternoon.
De Lima was snubbed more than ten times by the commission because of several complaints lodged against her, including her handling of the pork barrel scam.
Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Farinas, a member of the bicameral committee, said: “I move that the committee recommend favorably to the Commission on Appointments [plenary] the confirmation of the ad interim appointment of [de Lima].”
There was no objection to Farinas’ move.
Early in the hearing, Estrada questioned anew de Lima’s handling of the pork barrel scam.
Estrada brought up the letter of alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles sent to President Aquino, which alleged that lawyer Levito Baligod and retired General Rodolfo Diaz extorted money from her.
Diaz’s involvement came out after President Aquino finally revealed he got the letter complaint from Napoles regarding the alleged extortion. Aquino said Estrada may know more about the letter since Diaz was former head of the Presidential Security Group during the administration of his father, former President Joseph Estrada.
The younger Estrada asked why De Lima did not probe into the involvement of Diaz.
“I felt there was no need to further pursue the claim because the explanation of Baligod and the NBI were satisfactory… In fact, I was really so offended by the insinuations and accusations of Mrs. Napoles accusing the NBI of extortion,” she said.
She said it was Napoles’ way of getting back at them.
After the rescue of Napoles’ former assistant and now whistleblower Benhur Luy, the NBI at that time was already “quietly” looking into the pork scam.