The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate Sen. Leila De Lima over allegations she got millions in payoffs from the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd told reporters the NBI had obtained documents from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) containing bank transactions of drug syndicate heads implicated in the Bilibid drug trade.
“It’s a report containing the requested bank account names and bank account numbers; it was given to the NBI as lead agency and copy furnished the DOJ. You can see the names of the individuals, account names, transactions,” the Cabinet official said.
“For example, it was stated that were was a deposit of P500 million, the transactions and deposits happened a number of times,” he added.
De Lima on Friday denied the latest allegations and said she did not have accounts that accepted drug money Aguirre said investigators were particularly examining 10 bank accounts, and warned that some corporations could also be implicated.
Freeze, watch list orders
Aguirre also said the DOJ was inclined to file a petition to freeze the accounts before the Court of Appeals.
The DOJ chief however said he could not disclose the account names, amounts and transactions contained in the AMLC report, as it was not allowed under Republic Act 9160 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001.
In the meantime, the DOJ is mulling the issuance of a “watch list order” or a lookout bulletin order against de Lima, Aguirre said.
Aguirre had assembled inmates and two NBI men to testify against de Lima before the House of Representatives justice committee this week. The witnesses claimed de Lima received millions in payoffs to finance her senatorial campaign.
But Aguirre said there was not enough evidence yet to file a criminal case against de Lima.
Also on Friday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it was ready to provide copies of the Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) of Senator de Lima to both houses of Congress.
Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista noted that the SOCE is a public document.
“So if it is requested by the committees of the House of Representatives or Senate, we are ready to give it,” he said in an interview at the sidelines of a roundtable discussion at De La Salle University.
The poll chief however said that based on the document, they won’t be able to determine which contributors were involved in illegal drug trade.
“We don’t receive confidential information, we don’t have technical know-how to make that determination,” he said.