Govt official to link De Lima to drug payoffs: Aguirre

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 17 2016 07:43 PM

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre and Senator Leila De Lima

A high-ranking government official will testify that he delivered millions in drug payoffs to Senator Leila De Lima when she was still head of the justice department, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said Saturday.

The official will be one of two witnesses who will testify at next week's congressional inquiry that they delivered at least P5 million per visit to De Lima's house in Paranaque, Aguirre said.

"Ito po ay tinanggap nang personal mismo ni Sec. De Lima
at nang ito ay ideliver nang umagang-umaga, naka-duster pa yata si at nandoon si Ronnie Dayan sa bahay [It was personally received by Sec. De Lima and when it was delivered in the morning, she was wearing a duster and Ronnie Dayan was there]," Aguirre told DZMM.

Dayan is De Lima's former driver and alleged lover according to President Rodrigo Duterte, who also accused him of collecting money from drug lords at the national penitentiary. 

Aguirre refused to identify the two witnesses. "Hindi inmate, taga-labas po sila. Isa pong mataas na opisyal ng pamahalaan...taga-gobyerno po [They're not inmates. They're from outside. One is a high-ranking government official... from the government]," he said.

The justice secretary earlier revealed that at least 12 high-profile inmates, including two convicted crime lords, will also be testifying against the senator. 

"Yan po ay talagang mag-uugnay kay Sec. De Lima, ang kanyang mga role sa drug trade noong siya ay kasalukuyang secretary ng DOJ. [They will reveal Sec. De Lima's role in the drug trade when she was DOJ secretary]," he said.

The inmates set to appear at the House probe have been transferred from the New Bilibid Prisons to a maximum security facility inside military headquarters because of security concerns, he said.

De Lima is leading a Senate investigation into the hundreds of deaths linked to Duterte's war on drugs.

Last week, she presented as witness Edgar Matobato, a self-confessed hitman who accused Duterte of ordering the killings of suspected criminals and political opponents in Davao City during his term as mayor.

Aguirre and some senators, however, doubted Matobato's credibility.

"He is a coached witness, a perjured witness. Yung kanyang mga half-truths hinaluan niya ng kasinungalingan," said Aguirre.