The Muntinlupa connection: Duterte to reveal ‘drug matrix’ linking De Lima to Bilibid drug trade

  • Duterte to reveal a ‘drug matrix’ that will allegedly show De Lima’s connection to the Bilibid drug trade
  • De Lima and another former Justice undersecretary are two of the highest-ranked officials in the matrix
  • The president described his next revelation as the “Muntinlupa connection”
  • Duterte likewise confirmed that a governor, who is his friend, is also in the ‘drug matrix’

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to expose more evidence that will show the network of embattled Senator Leila De Lima’s connection to the illegal drug trade inside the National Bilibid Prison (NBP).

In an interview with reporters on Tuesday, August 23, Duterte said he will reveal a ‘drug matrix’ that will show De Lima on top of the alleged drug business in Bilibid along with a former Justice Undersecretary he later identified as Francisco Baraan.

“I will show to you maybe this week the matrix, bina-validate ko lang, iyong matrix ng Muntinlupa connection. Nandoon si De Lima sa matrix so it would show her role there,” said Duterte.

According to the president, De Lima is the highest-ranking government official, followed by Baraan, in what he described as the ‘Muntinlupa connection’.

Duterte further revealed he saw in the same ‘matrix’ the name of a governor who happens to be a close friend of his.

“There is also a governor. You know, he’s my friend. I can’t believe it, but andyan siya sa ano… revelation,” the president said.

De Lima has been consistent in denying any link to the illegal drug trade since Duterte named her as the ‘immoral senator’ who allegedly maintains an illicit relationship with her driver, who in turn, act as her conduit in dealing with the convicted drug lords.

The lady senator even said she is willing to be shot in front of the president if the allegations against her are proven to be true.

The animosity between the two officials started several years back when De Lima, who then heads the Commission on Human Rights, initiated an investigation on Duterte’s alleged connection to the vigilante group Davao Death Squad and the series of extrajudicial killings in Davao City.

De Lima is now leading a Senate inquiry that will probe into the alleged extrajudicial killings amid Duterte’s massive anti-drug campaign.