De Lima 'prepares for worst-case scenario' in possible arrest today
By Cecille Lardizabal, CNN Philippines
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Senator Leila de Lima is ready to face the charges and go to jail in case the Justice Department releases on Monday its resolution on cases of drug trafficking filed against her.
"I've been preparing for a worst case scenario kasi katuparan lang po 'yan ng matagal nang inuutos ng Pangulo. Di ba matagal na niyang sinasabi that he wants me locked up in jail," she said on Monday, referring to President Rodrigo Duterte. [Translation: I've been preparing for a worst case scenario because it's long been ordered by the President. Hasn't he said for the longest time that he wants me locked up in jail?]
Duterte has accused De Lima of corruption during her term as Justice Secretary under former President Benigno Aquino III.
Consolidated cases of drug trafficking were filed against De Lima by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), former National Bureau of Investigation deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala, the National Bureau of Investigation, and convicted drug lord Jaybee Sebastian.
Another case filed against De Lima is in connection with Eastern Visayas drug lord Kerwin Espinosa's drug operations.
The cases stemmed from allegations that De Lima abetted the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison and received huge payouts from convicted drug lords for them to continue their trade and to fund her senatorial campaign.
Legal case vs. Aguirre for "perks" given to inmates
De Lima said her legal team is firming up possible cases that she will file against Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, including subornation of perjury and tampering with witnesses. Subornation of perjury refers to inducing another person to lie while under oath.
She said these are illegal acts as a Justice Secretary should recuse themselves from getting involved with witnesses. She added Aguirre is unfit for his position because he is not behaving judiciously.
It was De Lima who divulged last week a memorandum dated December 15, 2016 that showed Aguirre was aware of the "lavish lifestyles" and special privileges allowed to high-profile inmates such as the use of cell phones, smart television sets, air conditioning units, and Internet.
"Hindi naman ho nila dine-deny yung confidential memo na yan. Kung sinasabi nila na hindi totoo yung nakalagay dun, bakit in the first place finorward ni BuCor Director General Delos Santos iyung confidential memo na yan to the Secretary of Justice, Secretary Aguirre," De Lima said.
[Translation: They aren't denying that confidential memo. If they claim that the contents (of the memo) are false, why did the BuCor director general De Los Santos forward the confidential memo to the Secretary of Justice."]
Last Friday, Aguirre denied receiving such a memorandum.
The lady senator also said she has information that some Bureau of Corrections officers are being pressured to change the contents of the memo.
"Ang balita ko nga pinepressure nila yung legal officer ng BuCor para baguhin ang laman ng confidential memo na yan," she said. [Translation: I heard that they are pressuring the legal officer of the BuCor to revise the contents of that confidential memo.]