Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday stood by his earlier claim on the ambush of Lalaine Madrigal-Martinez, the wife of an inmate who testified against Senator Leila de Lima.
"Talagang totoo ang ambush... Hindi porque walang ini-report, wala nang nangyari," Aguirre told radio DZMM after the Makati police and Southern Police District denied that Martinez was ambushed Friday at Circuit Makati.
(The ambush was real. Just because it was not reported to the police does mean that nothing happened.)
Aguirre said the Department of Justice has secured photos showing Martinez stepping out of her car with an apparent gunshot wound on her shoulder after the attack.
Aguirre said there are no records of Martinez being checked up in any hospital because she "self-medicated" out of fear for her safety.
"Gawa ng security ng family niya, security niya, minabuti niyang mag-self-medicate na lang kasi nakita naman niyang hindi masyadong serious. But the fact is, the ambush happened and she was injured," he said.
(Due to concerns on her security and that of her family, she opted to self medicate because she saw that her injury was not serious. But the fact is, the ambush happened and she was injured.)
The National Bureau of Investigation, he added, has found 3 bullet holes on Martinez's car and 3 slug fragments in the crime scene.
The Makati City Police earlier denied Aguirre's claims, saying they did not receive any reports of an ambush within the city.
The supposed ambush occurred on the same day that Aguirre alleged that Martinez's husband and his fellow high-profile inmates rejected a P100-million bribe for recanting their testimonies against De Lima.
The justice secretary said the offer was coursed through Biñan City Representative Marlyn Alonte and former Senator Jamby Madrigal, whom he said is Martinez' cousin.
In a press conference late Monday, Martinez claimed she can prove the alleged bribery attempt through an audio recording.
"Pinaninindigan ko po iyun dahil mayroon po akong ebidensya doon at mayroon po akong recording. Ngayon, ipinauubaya ko po sa NBI ang pag-iimbestiga sa aking nalalaman.
Martinez, however, denied that Madrigal is her cousin.
Madrigal and Alonte have vehemently denied negotiating with convicted crime lords.
Aguirre said he will release a statement on the ambush and bribery attempt after NBI concludes its investigation. -- With a report from Micheal Delizo, DZMM