MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte never gave any order for the probe to pin down Senator Leila de Lima, an official said Tuesday.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre also maintained that Duterte did not push the congressional inquiry into the alleged proliferation of illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) during de Lima's watch as justice chief during the Aquino administration.
“Sinasabi ni Senator de Lima na hindi kapani-paniwala itong gagawing investigation gawa ito raw ay utos ni President Duterte. Ang totoo po, kahit minsan, hindi ko po nakausap si Pangulong Duterte tungkol dito sa ginagawa naming pag-imbestiga,” Aguirre told radio DZMM.
(Senator de Lima is saying that the investigation is incredible since it was ordered by President Duterte. The truth is, not once, have I spoken with Duterte about our investigation)
“Definitely, there was no instruction from the President that this be done para ipitin si (to persecute) Senator de Lima.”
Aguirre earlier said witnesses testifying at the hearing are set to reveal how de Lima allegedly collected money from convicted drug lords to fund her 2016 senatorial campaign.
READ: De Lima slams claims she got campaign funds from drug lords
Aguirre maintained that apart from an immunity from suit, the government did not offer any favors to the prisoners in exchange for their testimony.
Aguirre: Govt has no 'ex-deal' with witnesses vs de Lima
De Lima said she will now take part in the congressional inquiry, which she dubbed as a "sham."
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