VACC dares De Lima to face drug allegations

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 19 2016 07:09 PM

The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) has joined forces with different groups to launch what it calls a "Coalition Against Illegal Drugs."

Among the members of the coalition are the United Filipino Seafarers, Republic Defenders, Conform Federalism, and Citizens Crime Watch.

The coalition's primary goal, expressed through a written manifesto, is to call for the immediate prosecution of Senator Leila de Lima for her role in the alleged proliferation of illegal drugs in the New Bilibid Prison.

The group fears the senator might not come back to the country now that she has speaking engagements abroad.

They challenged de Lima to attend the preliminary investigation of the cases filed by VACC against her before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on December 21. 

"Binastos niya ang House of Representatives. DOJ, hindi rin sumipot," said VACC Chairman Dante Jimenez, pertaining to De Lima's snub of the hearings on the drug trade inside the national penitentiary and of the preliminary investigation of the DOJ where she was supposed to receive a copy of the four criminal complaints against her on her alleged involvement in illegal drugs.

"Kayo po ba ay babalik sa Pilipinas? Are you going to attend hearings?" he added.

The group intends to hold a vigil at the DOJ on December 20 and December 21.

Solicitor General Jose Calida attended the launch of the coalition and has offered the legal services of his office to all who filed complaints against the senator.

Calida admits this is the first time it's going to be done but he says he sees no conflict between the Solicitor General's office and the DOJ as the SolGen is autonomous and independent of the DOJ.

"I am invoking SolGen's power as tribune of the people. I will lend prestige and gravitas of my office to go after De Lima. De Lima is the high priestess of hypocrisy, patron saint of narco-politics," Calida said.

"She is state's public enemy number one," he claimed.