AMLC financial investigator sees no transaction linking De Lima to drug trade – lawyer


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Prosecution witness in the illegal drug case against Sen. Leila M. de Lima Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) Financial Investigator Artemio Baculi, Jr. has confirmed under oath that the Senator was not involved in any suspicious transactions that will implicate her in the illegal drug trading.

During the hearing earlier today (Sept. 25) in Criminal Case No. 17-166 at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 205, Atty. Boni Tacardon, De Lima’s legal counsel, said Baculi admitted that his investigation of people suspected to have been involved in the Bilibid drug trade showed that no money flowed from the bank accounts subject of his investigation to either De Lima or her co-accused Jose Adrian Dera.

Napaamin namin siya na sa kanyang financial investigation na ginawa ay hindi naman niya inimbestigahan si Senator De Lima at si Dera. In fact, wala siyang ipinakitang ebidensya man lang na magpapakita na mayroong sabwatan between Senator De Lima at yung mga taong inimbestigahan niya na sinasabi niyang involved sa drug dealing,” said Tacardon.

Doon din sa testimonya niya, inamin niya na walang nakasampang kaso laban kay Senator De Lima na may kinalaman sa money laundering o kaya sa tinawag na forfeiture cases ng dahil sa sinasabing sabwatan sa mga taong involved sa illegal drug trade sa loob ng Bilibid,” he added.

In filing De Lima’s drug cases in Branch 205, it may be recalled that the government prosecution team used the statements of Hans Anton Tan and Peter Co, both convicted drug lords, among others, to charge her with conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading allegedly in connivance with Dera.

As early as 2016, during the House Justice Committee hearing on the Bilibid drug trade, then Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had in its possession an AMLC report which allegedly showed “billions of pesos of drug money” deposited in De Lima’s supposed bank account.

Tacardon maintained that Baculi, as a Prosecution witness, demolished Co’s testimonies and failed to show proof that there is connection between Co and De Lima.

Yung prosecution pinipilit nila na drug lord si Peter Co base sa testimonya ng AMLC. Eh kung matatandan niyo, si Peter Co noong tumestigo yan ay dineny niya na siya ay involved sa drugs noong nakakulong na sya. Ang ipinagtataka namin, yung prosecution pa mismo, sinisiraan pa nila ang sarili nilang witness. Noong pinresenta nila ay hindi nila napaaming drug lord, kaya ginagawa nila through another witness,” he said.

“Malinaw na walang maipakitang ebidensya ang prosekusyon na mag-uugnay kay Senator De Lima kay Peter Co. Lumalabas pa na ang mga testigo nila ay salungat ang testimonya sa isa’t isa. Lalo itong nagpapatunay sa pagiging inosente ni Senator De Lima sa mga paratang na ibinabato sa kanya,” he added.

De Lima recently filed two separate and distinct Motions for Bail for both Conspiracy to Commit Illegal Drug Trading cases, asserting that the Prosecution’s evidence against her is not strong, and is in fact confirmatory of her innocence of the charges. As of this writing, Judge Liezel Aquiatan has yet to rule on both Motions. (30)

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