De Lima belies fictitious testimony of convicted drug lord


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has called the recent testimony of a convicted Chinese drug-lord as “pure concoction” after the government prosecution presented him during a hearing on the trumped-up illegal drug charges filed against her.

          De Lima’s statement came after Peter Co, a Chinese national convicted of the illegal sale and delivery of dangerous drugs, claimed that he and other inmates contributed millions of drug money for De Lima’s senatorial campaign.

          “Peter Co originally said that the funds were for the 2013 elections, but were supposedly delivered when the filing of candidacy for said elections was already over. I never filed any certificate of candidacy for said elections. Everybody knows that,” De Lima, who placed 12th in the 2016 Senatorial elections, said.

          “Ganyan ba katanga ang drug lord na ito na basta-basta na lamang siya nagbibigay ng milyones base sa sabi-sabi ng isa pang drug lord para sa isang kandidatura na hindi naman mangyayari at alam niyang hindi mangyayari?”, she said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 711.

          Peter Co is one of the last witnesses to be presented by the Department of Justice (DOJ) at one of the cases lodged under Judge Liezel Aquiatan of the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court, Branch 205.

Last Jan. 24, Judge Aquiatan gave the prosecution until this coming May 29 to present all their witnesses in the two cases against De Lima as the hearings spanning almost two years were peppered with resets and delays.

          In his testimony last Jan. 31, Peter Co claimed that in 2012 – four years before the 2016 elections – De Lima, through another Bilibid inmate Tony Co, allegedly solicited PhP10 million for her senatorial campaign.

“As of 2012, running for any elective post was farthest from my mind. I decided to vie for the senatorial post in the 2016 elections only during the second half of 2015. So, how could I have solicited for campaign funds four years back?” De Lima said.

“Besides, I would NEVER, never did or do and will never ask or receive any illicit money, drug money or otherwise, from any inmate or anyone,” she stressed.

De Lima’s camp also pointed out that Peter Co has conveniently pointed to Tony Co to be the one who collected illicit funds from other unnamed inmates in NBP. Peter Co alleged that he himself contributed PhP1 million for De Lima’s campaign.

Tony Co, who was convicted of drug trafficking in 2001, was killed in a prison riot in 2016.

“Recall that Tony Co was fatally stabbed in a staged prison riot last Sept. 28, 2016. Also stabbed were Peter Co himself, Vicente Sy, and Jaybee Sebastian. After they were stabbed and allowed to recover by their jailers, they suddenly became then SOJ Aguirre’s willing witnesses,” De Lima recalled.

“We have it from credible sources that these inmates initially refused to testify until they were stabbed. Need I say more?” she added.

Peter Co is scheduled for cross examination by De Lima’s camp on Feb. 7 who are expected to press the witness on the glaring inconsistencies of his allegations.         

De Lima, recognized globally as the most prominent political prisoner of the Duterte regime, has been in detention since Feb. 2016 after trumped-up charges based on accounts of persons convicted of heinous crimes and dubious personalities who had grudges against her.

Despite being detained for crimes she did not commit, and with the continued persecution against her no less by the President himself and his sycophants, De Lima has continued to advocate for justice, human rights and observance of the rule of law. (30)

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