MANILA - Senator Leila de Lima on Thursday belied claims by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre that cash amount totaling P300-million was confiscated in a 2014 Bilibid raid.
She said this allegation, which she described as "very laughable, very outlandish," may be "within the realm of possibility, but it’s too preposterous."
"It’s improbable, it’s highly improbable because na-monitor ko naman po, I was supervising the raid. I personally led and supervised the raid. I immediately asked the concerned agencies, particularly NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) and BuCor (Bureau of Corrections) to render a report," she said on ANC's Headstart.
Aguirre earlier claimed, contrary to reports that the cash confiscated during the raid two years was only P1.6-million, he has a witness who will testify that the actual amount confiscated was "more than P300-million."
"I checked out my notes when that issue first came out. I think the correct figure na nakolekta—kasi may mga nadiskubre nga silang cold cash when we raided yung mga kubol nila—is P3.-something million; it’s not really 1.6. I checked my notes, a little more than P3-million, but definitely not P300-million," refuted De Lima.
"Saan dadalhin ‘yan P300-million na ‘yan?" she added.
She then pointed out that Aguirre has been publicly stating information ahead of a witness' testimony, and claimed that Aguirre's statements were fed to these witnesses.
"What’s happening is nagte-testify muna si Secretary Aguirre publicly, you know, para malaman na yung…because those are the lies that they are feeding to these so-called witnesses. So inuunahan na niya," she said.
"It’s Secretary Aguirre who’s testifying first ahead these coached and perjured witnesses," she added.
She maintained, there may be dozens of witnesses reportedly lined up to testify against her but there are "all these possible reasons" for them to lie.
"That’s a lot of people, but with all of the resources, with all the manpower, with all the time that they are devoting to this insidious design of the president to destroy or demolish me, then they found ways to convince people," she said.
If the point they are trying to arrive at is that the dirty money from the national penitentiary was used to beef up her campaign fund, De Lima said she "didn’t have any resources on [her] own," and her core group can attest to how hard they had to strive to be able to pedal on.
“You should ask my core group kung gaano kami nag-hirap because I didn’t have any resources on my own. I don’t have resources, Karen. You can check it out. I’m just renting my house now. I don’t have magagarang sasakyan. My God, that’s a total and absolute lie," she said.
She added, the breakdown of her campaign donations--which she claims all came from friends, family, relatives-- and expenditures--which she estimates to be above P86-million--are available in her statement of contributions and expenditures (SOCE).