MANILA - Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas on Tuesday said it was him, and not alleged drug lord Herbert Colangco, who was seen in a video partying with then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima' during her birthday last year.
"For the record, ako po talaga yun. That time nandoon po ako at ako po yung naka-shades and kung bakit po ako naka-shades, may sore eyes po ako nung panahon na yun," Vargas said during a phone interview on radio DZMM.
Vargas was reacting to a viral video clip of then Justice Secretary De Lima's birthday celebration taken last year at the Department of Justice quadrangle.
"Nagulat na lang po ako, bigla na lang po akong naging drug lord," he said.
A video clip and photo recently surfaced online claiming that De Lima was spotted with Herbert Colangco, a convicted robbery gang leader, at two parties in Manila and Quezon City. Colangco is serving time at the maximum security prison.
The Quezon City 5th District representative said he was at De Lima's party because the justice secretary is a family friend.
"Ilang dekada na po siyang kaibigan ng mother ko...family friend, kaya nandoon po ako," he said.
He said his mother worked for the administrations of Corazon Aquino, Fidel V. Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as Deputy Executive for Finance and Administration.
De Lima said the video was actually taken during her own birthday party at the Department of Justice (DOJ) quadrangle back in August 2015.
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 on 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.
De Lima calls viral video 'rubbish'
Vargas called on netizens to be careful and be more discerning in forwarding videos that come from unknown sources.
"Sana maging lesson po ito sa lahat na let's be more discerning sa paglalabas ng kung ano-anong video at bago po tayo maniwala at maglabas…pinaka-importante sa lahat yung katotohanan," he said. With DZMM
Alfred Vargas, viral video, leila de lima, herbert colangco, instant article, bilibid, misinformation