The recent testimony of the prosecution’s convict-witness on the alleged drug links of Senator Leila M. de Lima reveals a well-orchestrated plan by government officials to fabricate fictional narrative pinning her to drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison, Muntinlupa.
Lawyer Filibon Tacardon, one of De Lima’s counsels, made the assertion as he noted how convict-witness Hans Anton Tan was fed with deliberately wrong information about De Lima’s supposed familial relationship with police asset Jose Adrian “Jad” Dera.”
“Sa lagay namin, ay lumabas na yung totoo regarding sa testimonya ni Hans Tan na puro kasinungalingan. Una, inamin niya na wala siyang personal knoweldge tungkol dun sa sinasabi niyang dineliver na pera ni Jad, ni Jose Adrian Dera kay Senator De Lima,” he said.
“Lumabas din dun sa testimonya na yung sinasabi niya na bodyguard at pamangkin si Jose Adrian Dera ni Senator De Lima ay sinabi lang sa kanya nung kinausap siya ni Solicitor General Jose Calida at Director Asuncion,” he added.
Based on his sworn testimony last Nov. 20, Tan admitted that it was actually Solicitor General Jose Calida, as accompanied by then Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Deputy Director Rolando Asuncion who told him about De Lima’s fictional relationship with Dera.
Tan initially claimed that Dera is allegedly De Lima’s nephew and aide who solicited money and vehicles from drug lord Peter Co and other convicted drug lords purportedly for the Senator’s senatorial bid in the May 2016 election.
During his first testimony before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 205 last Oct. 11, and reiterated in his testimony last Nov. 22, Tan narrated that Calida was accompanied by the late police general Romeo Maganto and several other men in civilian clothes when he visited the former at the NBP Building 14 on Oct. 15, 2016.
Calida supposedly told Tan that Dera is also a member of De Lima’s Senate staff. These allegations of Dera being her nephew, aide, and Senate staff have long been denied by De Lima, saying in her previous statement that “I don’t know this guy from Adam. No connections whatsoever to me.”
In filing De Lima’s drug cases in Branch 205, the government prosecution team used the statements of Tan and Peter Co, both convicted drug lords, among others, to charge her with conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading in connivance with Dera.
Tacardon further noted that Tan also admitted that he has no knowledge of the source of money allegedly delivered to Dera in exchange for the release of Peter Co’s niece who was allegedly abducted by Dera.
“Tandaan natin na ang akusasyon ng Prosecution is that yung pera daw na binibigay ni Peter Co kay Jose Adrian Dera ay nanggaling sa drug proceeds o nanggaling sa drug trade ni Peter Co. Pero sa testimonya ni Hans Tan, sinabi niya na hindi niya alam kung saan galing yung pera na yun,” he explained.
In addition, Tacardon also pointed out that Tan admitted that he does not remember any details about the supposed vehicles he allegedly donated for the Senator’s senatorial campaign.
“Sinabi din niya na yung mga sasakyan na supposedly dineliver o hiningi ni Jose Adrian Dera ay wala siyang kaalam-alam, ni hindi niya masabi kung anong sasakyan yan, sinong may-ari niyan, anong plate number yan, anong tipo ng sasakyan yan,” he said.
“So ang nasa records ngayon ng korte ay yung claim lang ni Hans Anton Tan na nagbigay sila ng sasakyan para sa senatorial campaign ni Senator De Lima na wala namang suporta o wala namang basehan, o wala man lang silang mapakitang patunay na talagang nagbigay sila ng sasakyan para kay Senator De Lima,” he added.
An outspoken critic of Mr. Duterte, De Lima has been detained since 2017 on trumped-up drug charges based mostly on false testimonies of convicted criminals as a result of her courage in speaking out against the oppressive policies of the Duterte administration. (30)