MANILA - Convicted drug lord Herbert Colanggo began testifying at the bail hearing for senator Leila De Lima in Muntinlupa City on Monday, but according to lawyers present at the hearing, the prosecution witness has yet to implicate the detained senator during his over-2-hour-long testimony.
Colanggo told the court he had been giving P1.2 million a month to former Bureau of Corrections director Franklin Bucayu, his counsel Atty. Mauricio Ulep told reporters after the hearing.
Ulep added Colanggo will testify against De Lima on the next court hearing set on June 27, but did not give further details.
In an ambush interview with media as he left the courthouse, Colanggo claimed there was more to his testimony.
“Nakasalang na po ako, pero marami pa. Marami pang beses, marami pa,” he said.
“Mayroon tayong [June] 27, mas mabigat-bigat ang sasabihin po natin,” he claimed.
De Lima’s counsel, meanwhile, said they would have to wait and see how weighty Colanggo’s testimony would be.
“Wala pa siyang sinasabi talaga na may relevance talaga tungkol sa petition for bail na sinampa natin,” said Atty. Filibon Tacardon.
“Well, kilala naman natin si Herbert Colanggo na medyo mabulaklak kung magsalita, no? But the proof is in his testimony na hinihintay natin, kung mayroon ba talaga siyang sinasabi na susi.”
Colanggo was the only prosecution witness present at the hearing after his fellow convict Jojo Baligad failed to appear.
Ulep, who also represents Baligad, said the detainee began experiencing chest pains since Sunday.
“He’s sick. Mayroon pong chest pain… He suffered chest pains because of a previous medical condition. Mayroon na siyang mild stroke dati… Hindi niya kaya physically,” Ulep said.
Ulep added there is a pending request to have him hospitalized.
The counsel added Baligad might be able to attend the next hearing on June 27.
Despite a motion to put off Monday’s hearing due to Baligad’s absence, De Lima’s lawyer said they pushed for it to continue, resulting in Colanggo’s 2-and-a-half hour testimony.
“Ang naging statement namin sa korte hindi pwede pagbasehan ang chest pain para patuloy na ikansela ang hearing dahil ito ay petition for bail at ang nakataya ay kalayaan ni [senator] De Lima,” Tacardon said.
Tacardon also denied accusations their camp was convincing other witnesses in the case to retract their earlier statements against the senator.
“As far as the legal team is concerned, wala kaming ginagawang ganyan. Kung gagapang kami dapat noon pa naming ginagawa at walang instruction si [senator] De Lima na gawin ‘yan. Naniniwala kami sa katotohanan at ‘yan ay lalabas at lalabas din, mag-recant man siya o hindi.”
In the previous court hearing, witness Joel Capones took back on cross-examination that he knew and transacted with De Lima and her bodyguard Ronnie Dayan.
Dayan also retracted his testimony about De Lima’s alleged links to the drug trade at the national penitentiary, as did former BuCor officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos and self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.