VACC insists case vs De Lima is 'strong'


Posted at Feb 27 2017 04:59 PM | Updated as of Feb 27 2017 05:14 PM

Lawyer and VACC General Counsel Ferdinand Topacio. Mike Alquinto, NPPA Images/File

The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) insisted it has a strong case against Senator Leila de Lima who was arrested last week for drug trading and receiving payoffs from Bilibid drug convicts. 

Lawyer and VACC General Counsel Ferdinand Topacio on Monday said they would not have filed charges against De Lima if they did not see the gravity of her actions. 

“If you would ask the VACC, it [De Lima drug case] is very strong, otherwise we wouldn’t have filed it," he said in an interview on ANC's "Early Edition."

De Lima is accused of violating sections 5 and 22 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act pertaining to the sale, administration, dispensation, distribution and transportation of dangerous drugs.

Topacio also dismissed critics who say that the case against the senator is a clear case of political persecution. 

"With respect to the issue of political harassment, you know the VACC has existed long before there was even any hint in the horizon of a Duterte presidency and we will still be here even after the Duterte presidency becomes part of history," he said.

"Drug trafficking is not a political crime. It is a common crime," he added.

Topacio also said convicts who testified that they gave drug money to De Lima allegedly told him the same story as early as 2013.

"They have been telling me the same story, since that time, and they never wavered. They never deviated from what they've been telling me," he said.

De Lima is currently detained at the Custodial Center in Camp Crame after a Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court ordered her arrest last Friday.