Roque wants De Lima to quit

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2016 03:52 AM

MANILA - For Kabayan Party-List Rep. Harry Roque, the evidence against then Justice Secretary, now Senator Leila de Lima is enough for her to resign her Senate seat.

"Ngayon po, sa mga nasiwalat na ebidensiya, ang aking payo po sana kay Leila de Lima, sana po siya'y magbitiw na. Bagama't kami po'y nasa Kamara at hiwalay pong House of Congress, ang Kongreso eh iisa naman po kaming Kongreso sa 17th Congress. Tingin ko po, makakasira sa institusyon na siya ay manatili sa pwesto," Roque said.

(Now that evidence has been presented, I suggest that Leila de Lima resigns her Senate seat. Although we belong to different houses of Congress, we belong to the same 17th Congress. She will damage the image of the institution if she decides to stay.)

Roque pointed out the government's apparent strongest evidence against her. 

"Hindi lang po isa, hindi lang po dalawa, tatlo na po ang positibong nagsabi na nagbigay po sa kaniya ng pera. 'Yung dalawa po, nagsabi na nakatanggap siya P10 million. Di po iyan mga preso, 'yan po ay mga opisyales ng NBI. Meron po 'yan presumption of regularity in the discharge of their functions. Wala pong kaduda-duda sa aking pag-iisip na talaga pong lumabag sa batas si Leila de Lima."

(Not only one, not two, but three witnesses said they gave her money. Two of them said she received P10 million. They weren’t inmates but were officials of the NBI. They enjoy presumption of regularity in exercising their functions. In my mind, Leila de Lima has indeed violated the law.)

In their testimonies before the panel on Tuesday, former NBI Deputy Director Rafael Ragos said that he once "received a call asking me to deliver the black handbag to Mr. Ronnie Dayan, the caller said the black handbag came from Peter Co and it contains 5 "manok", which means P5 million as a "manok" refers to P1 million."

Ragos said he brought the handbag to De Lima's house where he handed it to Dayan. He was accompanied in the two times he brought money to De Lima's house by another NBI official, Jovencio Ablen, who corroborated the testimony.

Roque maintained that unlike Senator Panfilo Lacson who believes there is prima facie evidence to file a case against De Lima, Roque said he thinks there is proof beyond reasonable doubt.

A lawyer for the inmates, Ferdinand Topacio, however admitted that all other witnesses against De lima outside of the two NBI officials could not directly pin her down.

"Actually, that's to be expected po sapagkat, you know kung ako rin si Secretary De Lima, hindi ako mali-link directly. (If I were Secretary De Lima, I would not allow myself to be linked to inamtes.) She may be ugly, but she's not stupid," Topacio said.

Topacio also downplayed accusations that his clients merely have axes to grind against De Lima. The lawyer also showed ABS-CBN News a cellphone video of the inmates singing a song to De Lima.