Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima’s legal camp has underscored the duty of the State prosecutors to hold accountable Prosecution witness and convicted murderer Joel Capones for the crime he confessed under oath, and in open court, where he admitted to trading and selling illegal drugs while serving as an inmate of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
De Lima’s legal counsel, Atty. Boni Tacardon, confirmed that that they have already filed a motion before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 256 to include Capones in the case because of his admission.
Capones, commander of the Sigue Sigue Sputnik Gang, resumed his testimony in the trumped-up drug case filed against the Senator last Feb. 23. De Lima attended the hearing in court.
“Nagsampa na kami ng mosyon para isama si Joel Capones bilang isang akusado sa kaso na ito dahil inamin mismo ni Joel Capones na siya mismo at ang kanyang mga mayores ang mga nagbebenta ng droga sa loob ng Bilbid at sa labas,” Tacardon said in an interview.
“Ngayon, nagsampa kami ng isang mosyon na isama sana siya dahil kung totoo sana yung tinatawag na war on drugs ng gobyerno, eh di dapat lahat ng mga taong involved sa droga ay sampahan natin ng kaso. Bakit si Senator De Lima ang sinasabi nila na involved dito sa sinasabing bentahan ng droga dito sa loob ng Bilibid. Eh sila mismo yung nagbenta?” he added.
In his testimony before the court, Capones confessed that he committed illegal drug trading within the NBP, together with his 13 mayores in Sigue Sigue Sputnik, from January to October 2014. Despite this, Capones was not included as an accused in the said case or any drug case for that matter.
Tacardon further confirmed that De Lima already wrote a letter to Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra urging him to use the powers available in his office to prosecute anyone involved in the illegal drug trading in NBP without favor, including Capones.
“Sumulat si Senator De Lima kay Secretary Guevarra na hinihimok siya na panindigan yung war on drugs ng gobyerno, sampahan yung dapat sampahan na mga tao na involved sa illegal drug trading sa loob ng Bilibid prison,” Tacardon said.
Tacardon said that they are not yet done cross-examining Capones whose narrative are seen to be not consistent and dubious.
In an earlier Twitter post last Feb. 20, De Lima likened Capones to Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos, former National Bureau of Investigation agent Jovencio Ablen Jr. and Bilibid inmate Engelberto Durano whom she firmly asserts are all “perjured witnesses.”
“His [Capones] story about my alleged receipt of drug money from Jaybee Sebastian (now deceased, killed, I strongly believe) is a blatant LIE,” De Lima said,.
“Kailangan nating bantayan at tutukan kung paano aaksyunan ng gobyerno ang ganitong sitwasyon kung saan may testigong umamin mismo ng kanilang krimen sa Korte. Hahayaan na lang ba nila ito at poprotektahan para lang isulong ang kanilang interes?,” added De Lima.
De Lima, the most prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime, recenty marked her fourth year in unjust detention last Feb. 24. She was recently acquitted in one of the trumped-up drug charges against her. (30)