THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DOJ) on Friday disclosed that convicted drug lord Herbert “Ampang” Colangco would testify against Sen. Leila de Lima in next week’s House inquiry into the drug trade at the national penitentiary.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd, in a radio interview, said Colangco would be among 12 high-profile inmates of the New Bilibid Prison set to expose de Lima for allegedly getting money from drug syndicates when she was Justice secretary in the previous Aquino administration.
Aguirre claimed de Lima protected drug lords inside the prison in Muntinlupa, in exchange for millions of pesos.
The DOJ chief also said two witnesses against de Lima had disclosed that she received P5 million in drug money, delivered to her house in Parañaque City.
Aguirre said affidavits had been executed by Colangco and other inmates.
Former officials and agents of the National Bureau of Investigation have also executed affidavits against de Lima, claiming she had received drug money, Aguirre said.
Transferred to military prison
Aguirre said the prisoners would be moved to another detention facility for their security.
A GMA News report showed Colangco and other inmates being transferred to a detention facility of the Armed Forces at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Friday.
The New Bilibid Prison’s mother agency is the Bureau of Corrections, which is attached to the DOJ.
The hearing at the House of Representatives is scheduled on September 20. De Lima is not expected to attend as part of “inter-chamber courtesy,” being a member of the Senate, a co-equal chamber.
President Rodrigo Duterte had accused de Lima, a leading critic of the government’s anti-drug war, of protecting drug syndicates at Bilibid when she was DOJ secretary.
He also revealed that de Lima had an affair with her driver-bodyguard Ronnie Palisoc-Dayan, who allegedly collected protection money from drug lords inside the Muntinlupa prison.