De Lima denies partying with 'drug lord'


Posted at Jul 17 2016 05:54 PM | Updated as of Jul 18 2016 10:36 AM

MANILA -- Senator Leila De Lima on Sunday denied online speculations that she made merry during two occasions with an alleged drug lord.

De Lima said there is no truth to the viral video clip and photo claiming that she was spotted with Herbert Colangco, a convicted robbery gang leader, at two parties in Manila and Quezon City.

She said the video supposedly showing her with Colangco was actually taken during her own birthday party at the Department of Justice (DOJ) quadrangle back in August 2015.

The person sitting next to her and who was speculated to be Colangco is actually Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas, De Lima added.

She also noted that the other individuals shown in the 40-second clip were emcee Imelda Papin, former Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar and other DOJ employees.

De Lima also belied another "maliciously circulated" photo in Facebook supposedly showing her singing at the party of a drug lord.

The photo, she said, was taken during the birthday party of her campaign supporter, Zaldy Aquino, at the Zirkoh comedy bar in Quezon City last December 28.

She said this may be verified with the file videos and record of the establishment.

President Rodrigo Duterte last week named Colangco, Peter Lim and Peter Co as three alleged leaders of drug trafficking operations in the country. 

Colangco earlier made headlines as a member of the so-called "Bilibid 19," a group of high-profile convicts who reportedly enjoyed perks while behind bars at the New Bilibid Prisons.

De Lima had pushed for tighter security at the national penitentiary during her stint as Justice Secretary.

More recently, she lauded Duterte's anti-narcotics campaign but also said she suspects that some of those slain in the campaign were victims of extra-judicial killings.

She has pushed for a Senate investigation on the alleged summary executions of drug suspects all over the country. 

(READ: De Lima to SolGen: I will not be intimidated