Drug trafficking raps filed vs De Lima, 7 others

AN ANTI-corruption group filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday, October 11, drug trafficking complaints against Senator Leila de Lima and seven other individuals allegedly involved in the proliferation of illegal drugs in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) chair Emeritus Dante Jimenez filed complaints against De Lima and her supposed cohorts who allegedly conspired with her in the drug trade inside and outside the penitentiary.

Charges for violation of Section 5 (sale) in relation to Section 26 (conspiracy) of Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 were filed against De Lima, DOJ former undersecretary Fransisco Baraan III, former Bureau of Corrections (Bucor) director general Jesus Franklin Bacayu, and former Bucor superintendent Colonel Wilfredo Ely.

Baraan and Bucayu were accused of receiving monthly payola from drug lords inside the NBP, while Ely was alleged to be Bucayu's bagman.

De Lima's former driver and bodyguard Ronnie Dayan, her former security aides Joenel Sanchez and Adrian Vera who were accused of being her collectors; and top Bilibid inmate Jaybee Sebastian, who was accused of pooling drug money for De Lima's senatorial bid are also included in the charge sheet.

Vera, said to be De Lima's nephew, was allegedly instrumental to the release of drug lord Peter Co's niece and her husband who were supposedly under the custody of police officials. Co allegedly paid Vera a total of P5 million for their release.

The VACC used as basis the testimonies of former Bucor officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos and the other inmates led by Herbert Colanggo.

'De Lima used her power'

In the 148-page complaint-affidavit of the VACC, it has claimed that De Lima utilized her power and authority as then chief of the Justice department "to promote the proliferation of massive drug trade inside the Bilibid."

VACC also said De Lima was able to put in position her cohorts former Bucayu and Ely to assist her in maneuvering the drug trade.

The VACC pointed out that the eight respondents in the case "clearly acted in conspiracy" as they all came to an agreement concerning the sale and trade of drugs in the penitentiary.

"In this case, respondents clearly acted in conspiracy...Each one of them had played significant roles in order to ensure the perpetuation of the illegal drug trade inside the Bilibid," the affidavit reads.

De Lima was accused of forcing gang leaders to contribute monthly quota amounting to millions of pesos for her senatorial bid.

'We will not wait for a minute'

VACC chair Jimenez said the complaints they filed were just their initial step to implicate De Lima and the other officials who benefited from drug pushing in Bilibid.

"We will let the DOJ to complete this kasi kami sa VACC will not wait for a minute. Nung nakita namin may probable cause we filed it with the appropriate agency...We want the agencies to act immediately,"Jimenez said.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said in previous interviews that he does not want to file a case yet against De Lima unless it is "airtight." The DOJ is now in the process of securing records of bank transactions from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).

Aside from the testimonial evidences they presented in their affidavit, Jimenez said her group will also present supplemental affidavits and attach bank deposit slips and other documentary evidence to prove De Lima's involvement in drug trade.

"There is a supplemental complaint forthcoming. Ang importante dito we have already identified several people," he said.

The VACC chair said they will monitor the complaints they filed to make sure that all the respondents responsible for the proliferation of drugs in Bilibid will be charged.

"We will not allow this. It is revolting, we will monitor this closely and file supplemental complaint against those responsible people for making a mockery of our penology," Jimenez said. (Sunnex)
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