MANILA – Senator Leila De Lima on Thursday cried harassment as two of her former staff at the Department of Justice were reportedly asked by the National Bureau of Investigation to testify against her for her alleged involvement in the drug trade.
The two DOJ staff, identified as Jong Caranto and Bogs Obuyes, have executed affidavits claiming that they were told by then secretary De Lima to deposit millions of pesos in a bank account that was not under her name, a report by the Philippine Star said.
De Lima said the action of the two DOJ staff was plain harassment.
"Parang pinapaamin sa kanila na ako nagpabukas noon para ipadaan ang mga galing sa convicts na mga drug lords. Jesus Christ," said de Lima.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier tagged de Lima as a protector of drug lords.
READ: Duterte's 'drugs matrix' tags De Lima, others
The DOJ and the House of Representatives are conducting their respective investigations on the proliferation of illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison during the previous administration.
De Lima said the House probe was meant to harass her as she is a strong critic of Duterte's war on drugs, but House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez maintains the investigation is not singling out de Lima.
Meanwhile, de Lima said she might consider the request of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano to not hold a Senate hearing on alleged drug-related extra-judicial killings while Duterte is on a trip to Brunei, Laos, and Indonesia this month.
She, however, set a condition.
"Sana nga, if you're asking, ang pinakatamang gawin ay mag-ceasefire sa patayan," said de Lima.
The Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights chaired by De Lima is set to resume its hearing on September 7 and not September 5 as earlier announced.
She said her committee needs more time to prepare for the third hearing.