House leaders believe Senator de Lima received drug money

Philippine House of Representatives leaders are convinced that Senator Leila de Lima received drug money despite contradictory testimonies of key witnesses, The Manila Times Online reported on Tuesday.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas said the investigation into the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison showed that the former justice secretary accepted drug money because all witnesses testified to it.

De Lima’s former driver and bodyguard admitted to collecting a total of P8 million from Kerwin Espinoza from August to November in 2014 and, on the other hand, he told the Senate inquiry that he gave P8 million to de Lima during February and October, 2015.

Inmates at NBP, among them retired police official Rdolfo Magleo, Engelberto Durano and Herbert Colango also accused Dayan of collecting drug money for de Lima. But this was denied by Dayan.

Alvarez said all witnesses told partial truths because they also had fears that they could be charged “but we were able to establish the fact that everyone of them gave money to de Lima.”

He noted that de Lima could not have raised enough money to pay for her television advertisements during the campaigning if not for drug money.

Senate majority leader Vicente Sotte 3rd said that the Senate is unlikely to defend de Lima if the House cites her in contempt.