A GROUP of whistleblowers called for the immediate resignation of Leila de Lima on Wednesday after disclosing that the Justice Secretary and some officials of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) received P150 million in bribes from businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles in exchange for the dropping of the serious illegal detention complaint filed against Napoles by Benhur Luy.
The group led by Sandra Cam said de Lima has lost her credibility and should quit her post.
“Gusto naming malaman ng taumbayan na itong mismo na nag-iimbestiga ay involved dito kay Napoles [We want the people to know that the investigator is also involved with Napoles],” Cam told the weekly Fernandina media forum at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan City, in Metro Manila.
Cam, president of the Whistleblowers Association of the Philippines, also accused former NBI director Nonnatus Rojas of receiving P30 million during a lunch meeting with lawyers Alfredo Villamor, Plaridel Bohol and Napoles in his office on May 23, 2013.
Bohol, Cam said, was de Lima’s former husband.
“Yung iba napunta sa ibang opisyal ng DOJ . . . huwag mong sabihin dito na walang kinalaman dito si Secretary de Lima [The rest of the money went to other DOJ officials. And don’t tell me that Secretary de Lima had nothing to do with this],” she added.
“Ang dismissal ng kaso ay hindi lang po manggagaling sa prosecutor pero mismo sa Secretary of Justice [It is not just the prosecutor who decides whether a case should be dismissed. It is also the Secretary of Justice],” Cam said.
She cited two resolutions issued by the DOJ on the serious illegal detention complaint against Napoles—the first on June 10, 2013 that dismissed the charges against the businesswoman and the second issued months later thath found probable cause to file charges against Napoles at the Makati City Regional Trial Court.
In that first resolution, the DOJ, through assistant state prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, junked the complaint against Napoles and her brother.
Luy claimed that Napoles detained him in her condominium unit at Pacific Plaza Tower in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City in Metro Manila to prevent him from coming out and revealing information about the pork barrel scam.
When the DOJ held a second preliminary investigation months later, it reversed its earlier resolution and ordered the filing of charges against Napoles.
The businesswoman questioned the resolution at the Court of Appeals but the appellate court upheld the DOJ action, noting that prosecutors presented detailed findings to back up the filing of a complaint against Napoles in court.
Cam also disclosed that de Lima did not lift a finger when she told the DOJ chief that she had gotten hold of a witness who could give information on the whereabouts of fugitive brothers former Palawan governor Joel Reyes and Coron mayor Mario Reyes.
The siblings were the principal accused in the killing of Dr. Gerry Ortega.
“May ginawa ba si de Lima? Wala nang integridad sa amin si de Lima .. . hindi na siya malinis [Did de Lima do anything? De Lima has lost her integrity, she is no longer clean],” Cam said.
Another whistleblower, lawyer Melchor Magdamo, said de Lima should resign for her alleged part in clearing Napoles.
“De Lima is already lawyering for Napoles. She must inhibit herself from the case. De Lima must resign,” Magdamo added.
Cam said she and other whistleblowers will gather at least a million signatures to push for De Lima’s resignation.
“We want to gather at least one million signatures [for]Secretary de Lima [to know]that she has no more moral ascendancy to lead the Department of Justice,” she added.
“We have to stop her selective judgment and we have to stop justice for sale under her term,” Cam said.
She warned that if de Lima refused to step down, her group would take legal actions against the Cabinet official.