- Senator Leila De Lima hits back at Lacson for saying she could be charged over drug links
- De Lima accused Lacson of “doublespeak” for his sudden turnaround
- Lacson earlier said there is enough probable cause for DOJ to file charges against De Lima after the Lower House hearing
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Leila De Lima said she couldn’t believe that her colleague, Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson, is now backing assumption that there is probable cause to charge her over alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade inside the National Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Last week at the Senate hearing, Lacson criticized the testimony of self-confessed killer Edgar Matobato for supposedly having several loopholes and inconsistencies. The senator recalled he was once a victim of “fake witness” Ador Mawanay who testified against him several years back.
But after the Lower House hearing on Tuesday, Lacson said he believes De Lima could be charged for possible violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act based on the testimony of the witnesses – mostly Bilibid convicts – for allegedly receiving drug money when she was still Justice Secretary.
“I can bet that once the preliminary investigation to be conducted by the Department of Justice against her is concluded, probable cause will be established, hence a warrant for her arrest will be issued by the court,” said Lacson.
But De Lima said, she was surprised at Lacson’s sudden turnaround and accused former PNP chief of “doublespeak”.
“Akala ko ba pinagtatawanan lang ni Sen. Ping (Lacson) itong [I thought Senator Ping was just laughing off this] persecution and harassments being done to me, as he recalls his own harrowing experience with the Mawanay episode,” said De Lima in a statement on Wednesday.
“Why is Sen. Ping saying now, based on media reports, that there’s enough basis to now file charges against me prescinding from what transpired at yesterday’s House hearing?” the embattled senator asked.
De Lima said she is wondering whether Lacson is finally convinced of the authenticity and veracity of the ‘stories’ of Bilibid inmates whom he described as ‘perjured witnesses’.
“I’m aghast by some people’s propensity for doublespeak,” she added.
At the Lower House hearing on Tuesday, convicted drug lord Herbert Colangco admitted he has given P3-M ‘payola’ every month to De Lima when the latter was still DOJ chief. He also confessed to have raised money for De Lima’s senatorial campaign.