JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd on Friday claimed ex-senator Jamby Madrigal and Laguna Rep. Lenlen Alonte-Naguiat tried to bribe high-profile inmates P100 million to clear Sen. Leila de Lima of drug charges, an accusation immediately denied by the two.
Aguirre made the revelation over radio station dzBB, saying Lalaine Madrigal Martinez informed him that Madrigal had made the offer to the prisoners involved in the drug trafficking case against de Lima.
Martinez is the wife of Noel Martinez, one of the witnesses who divulged de Lima’s supposed involvement into illegal drugs. He is detained at the Armed Forces of the Philippines along with other prisoners who have testified against de Lima.
Aguirre threatened to charge Madrigal and Alonte with “obstruction of justice.”
The DOJ chief said the bribe attempt was meant to convince the prisoners to recant their testimonies before the EDSA “People Power” anniversary which would supposedly be used as a opportunity to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
Madrigal and Alonte-Naguiat denied Aguirre’s claims.
“I do not know any of the inmates. I did not call them. I don’t know where that accusation came from,” Alonte-
Naguiat said in a radio interview.
“I am willing to face Secretary Aguirre and whoever told him of such accusation against me. I can face my accusers and subject myself to a lie-detector test,” Alonte-Naguiat added.
Alonte-Naguiat clarified that she only knew Madrigal as a politician. “I do not know her (former Senator Madrigal) personally,” she said.
Alonte-Naguiat is a former member of the Liberal Party and was an ally of former President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
She won her congressional post as a Liberal Party candidate, but jumped ship to PDP-Laban—the political party of President Rodrigo Duterte—when Duterte won the May 2016 polls.
“I am with PDP-Laban because I believe in the President’s war on drugs. My name and the district I represent are being tarnished with these accusations. I won’t besmirch my name and that of my party,” she stressed.
“I respect the Justice’s department’s job in investigating this issue but they should also respect me,” she added.
Alonte-Naguiat’s husband, Steve Naguiat, is a relative of former Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) chairman Cristino Naguiat.
Less than two weeks ago, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of Davao del Norte said former Pagcor chief Naguiat and other ex-Pagcor officials should be prosecuted for plunder over the P234-million contract between Pagcor and Vanderwood Management Corp.
The P234 million was for Pagcor’s rental payment for Vanderwood’s facilities—a payment made in advance even if the construction of Vanderwood’s facility was yet to be finished.