De Lima denies knowing co-accused in drug charges


Posted at Mar 12 2017 06:41 PM

Senator Leila de Lima's handwritten note. Photo by Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Senator Leila de Lima denied knowing her co-accused Jose Adrian Dera, who had been reported to be her nephew and former aide.

“I do not know Mr. Dera at all. He is not a nephew or a relative of mine of any degree. He has not worked for me as an aide or in any capacity. I simply do not know him,” De Lima said in a handwritten note Saturday.

Dera is De Lima’s co-accused in two of her three drug cases. Media reports have previously referred to Dera as a former aide and “nephew” of the senator.

Dera was tagged by Bilibid inmates Hans Tan and Wu Tuan Yuan alias Peter Co as the one behind the arrest of the latter's niece on drug charges last March 25, 2016. Tan and Co said Dera demanded millions and vehicles in exchange for the release of the niece and her companions. 

De Lima also denied anew receiving drug payoffs from Co or any other drug convict.

“May I repeat this for the nth time—I did not demand, solicit, more so receive, directly or indirectly any drug money from anyone,” she said.

De Lima said claims of her involvement to the illegal drug trade in the national penitentiary found in any document are “complete falsehood.”

The former Justice chief is currently detained at the Custodial Center in Camp Crame for drug-related charges.