Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said in a press briefing on Friday (Sept. 2) that he had proof that Sen. Leila De Lima had links to the illegal drug trade, although this information was still being validated.
Aguirre said the Department of Justice (DOJ) — which is investigating De Lima for her supposed involvement in drugs operations inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) — had 19 bank receipts showing deposits of ₱88.5 million to a BDO bank account supposedly owned by Sen. Leila De Lima's former employee at the DOJ, Edna "Bogs" Obuyes.
Initial investigations had found only four bank receipts totaling ₱24 million.
Aguirre said the money was traced to five names: Obuyes, Jonathan "Jong" Caranto, who also worked for De Lima at the DOJ, and three others.
"We are just building a case dun sa mga deposits na 'yun and dun sa mga perang binigay ni Secretary De Lima kay Ronnie Dayan," Aguirre said.
[Translation: We are just building a case based on those deposits and on the money that Secretary De Lima gave to Ronnie Dayan.]
Dayan was De Lima's driver and bodyguard. He was supposedly her bagman for drug money from Bilibid.
Could be a billion
Aguirre also believes the alleged drug money could reach ₱1 billion.
"Pero 'wag niyo sabihin na porke discredited itong mga deposit slips ay wala nang ibang deposit slips," he said. "Maliit lang ito. Aabot ng bilyon."
[Translation: But don't say that even if these deposit slips are discredited that there aren't other deposit slips. This is only a little piece of a billion-peso puzzle.]
Caranto's admitted in a supposed affidavit to depositing money into Ronnie Dayan's bank account.
"More or less six instances na siya'y inutusan ni Secretary De Lima na mag-deposit sa account ni Ronnie Dayan," Aguirre said. "Kung minsan, ₱40,000, ₱20,000."
[Translation: There were more or less six instances that Secretary De Lima ordered him to deposit money into Ronnie Dayan's account. Sometimes it was ₱40,000 and sometimes it was ₱20,000.]
Aguirre said he did not force Obuyes and Caranto to say something against De Lima and that Caranto passed a polygraph test.
But on her Facebook page, Obuyes denied she had millions of pesos deposited in a bank account and that Aguirre had shown her the "bank receipts" amounting to ₱24 million, which were from March and April 2014.
De Lima said this was all part of fabricating evidence against her.
No comment from BDO
Meanwhile, BDO said it could not comment on the alleged account.
"In recent news articles, BDO has been identified as depository bank of a certain DOJ employee associated with Senator Leila De Lima, and that said DOJ employee purportedly received a number of cash deposits of varying sum amounting to several millions of pesos," the bank said in a statement. "BDO regrets that it cannot make any comment on this matter and will just make an appropriate reply to the proper authorities, whenever necessary."
Source: CNN Philippines