De Lima to Aguirre: Prove P100M bribe offer.
Senator Leila de Lima posed this challenge on Thursday to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, who claimed that high profile inmates were offered P100 million to recant their testimonies against her.
Several inmates have testified at the House of Representatives linking De Lima in illegal drugs when she was still justice secretary.
'I could not help but laugh at this another outlandish and hysterical story being fed to the media,' De Lima said in a statement.
'Obviously, it should not warrant any air time or editorial space unless Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre can provide verifiable proof, and not just mere hearsay.'
'I dare Aguirre to name names and show proof, otherwise he too should shut up!' added the senator, who has repeatedly denied any involvement with illegal drugs.
Aguirre claimed that the bribe offer was made by a former senator and an incumbent congressman from Laguna. Both were allegedly partymates of De Lima at the Liberal Party.
According to Aguirre, the offer was made twice through former police officer and convicted kidnapper Clarence Dongail. It was reportedly done over the speaker phone of the common mobile phone at the inmates' detention facility in Camp Aguinaldo.
The Bureau of Corrections has said that a phone has been placed at the reception center at the Armed Forces detention center for use during emergencies.
Dongail was the inmate who stabbed and killed convicted drug lord Tony Co on Sept. 28, 2016, when high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian was also attacked allegedly to stop him from testifying against De Lima in a congressional hearing.
Aguirre said the first call was on Wednesday and then again on Thursday morning.
Evidence of the alleged bribe offer could come through the direct testimonies of the inmates or others who might have heard it over the speaker phone. Any recording of the call could be considered a violation of the Anti-Wire Tapping law and would be illegal.
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|Publication:||Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)|
|Date:||Feb 23, 2017|
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