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UPDATE: De Lima aide, co-accused nabbed in Pampanga


SENATOR Leila De Lima’s alleged nephew and former aide, and her co-accused in two drug cases had been arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) after two years of hiding.

NBI spokesman Ferdinand Lavin identified the suspect as Jose Adrian Dera, who was arrested on Friday morning in Angeles City, Pampanga by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by the regional trial court (RTC) of Muntinlupa City.

“Confirmed, our Special Task Force under Chief Geralde arrested this morning in Angeles [City], Pampanga by virtue of an arrest warrant issued by Muntinlupa RTC,” Lavin said.

Dera’s lawyer Raymund Palad was quoted as saying in a report that his client was arrested in his house in Pampanga at 6 a.m. on Friday.

Dera is also facing drug charges for allegedly conspiring with then justice Secretary De Lima to sell illegal drugs at the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa.

Dera was also accused by NBP inmates Hans Tan and Wu Tuan Yuan alias Peter Co of orchestracting the arrest of Co’s niece, his wife and four companions on drug charges.

Dera allegedly demanded P5 million and vehicles in exchange for the release of Co’s niece and companions.

But De Lima, in a statement, denied any affiliation with Dera.

The Senator said that Dera was not her nephew nor worked for her as an aide or in any other capacity.

De Lima is currently detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center on drug charges. WITH REPORTS FROM ANGEL CARLOTO, MARK JOSEPH TABERDO

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