Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima today welcomed the Ombudsman’s decision dismissing the graft and terrorism complaint against her that originated from a baseless allegation that she aided in freeing suspected Abu Sayyaf terrorists.
De Lima, a former justice secretary, said the Ombudsman’s decision validates her strong and unwavering conviction that like all other “proxy complaints” filed against her by the Duterte regime, the graft and terrorism complaint dismissed by the Ombudsman is also politically-motivated.
“These graft and terrorism cases are just among the many trumped-up cases filed against me, which are, indisputably, an attempt by the Duterte administration to persecute me,” she said.
“The people behind the complaint counted on the possibility that the baseless and unsubstantiated allegations would easily be accepted by the Ombudsman for the President’s fanatics to feast upon afterwards-but the Ombudsman proved them wrong,” she added.
In a nine-page resolution dated Nov. 6, 2017, the Ombudsman ruled that there was no probable cause to indict De Lima and four other co-accused for purportedly using their power to give financial assistance and aid to known terrorists.
“Inevitably, this Office finds no probable cause to indict any of the respondents for violation of RA 10169 (terrorism financing law) or of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act),” the Ombudsman noted in its resolution.
“Neither does it find substantial evidence to hold any of the public respondents liable for Grave Misconduct, Dishonesty, Neglect of Duty or Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service,” it added.
Also cleared from the charges were former Sulu governor Abdusakur Tan, former National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Commissioners Mehol Sadain and Edil Baddiri, and respondent Wendell Sotto.
The Senator from Bicol likened the terrorism complaint against her to all the trumped-up drug charges filed against her by “the vindictive Duterte regime,” describing it as “outrageous and downright fake.”
“Wala itong pagkakaiba sa iba pang imbentong kaso laban sa akin ng rehimeng Duterte. Malinaw na batay lamang ito sa kasinungalingan-sa kagustuhan nilang patahimikin ako sa aking mga ipinaglalaban at sirain ang aking pangalan at integridad,” said De Lima.
The graft and terrorism complaint against De Lima was filed by a certain Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie and Abner Salahi Tahilin late 2016, around the same time the illegal drug trading charges were also against De Lima by personalities closely identified with the Duterte Administration.
Several of those who filed the drug trading complaints against De Lima have since been appointed to high government positions, such as Dante Jimenez, now Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission chairman, and Sandra Cam, now PCSO board member.