As Senator Leila De Lima presented Edgar Matobato as a witness against President Rodrigo Duterte during the senate inquiry on drug-related killings last week, the neophyte lawmaker's involvement with illegal drugs is also haunting her.
Below are three of the alleged drug lords linked to the former justice secretary.
1. Herbert “Ampang” Colanggo
He is one of the high-profile inmates who testified against Senator Leila De Lima on Tuesday, September 20, on the House inquiry into the proliferation of the illicit drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
According to him, Joenel Sanchez, the security aide of former Department of Justice (DOJ) secretary was her bagman who collected drug payoffs for De Lima’s senatorial campaign.
“Ang trabaho po ni Joenel ay security aide, pero sa pagkakakilala ko, tagakuha siya ng pera ni Sec. De Lima… Close po sila at lagi po siya sa DOJ (Jonel works a security aide, but as far as I know, he was De Lima’s bagman… They are close and he used to stay at the DOJ [office]),” Colanggo revealed.
He also said that De Lima got at least one million pesos every month since October 2013 through Sanchez.
Colanggo, a convicted robbery gang leader, and drug dealer is included in the drug matrix disclosed by President Rodrigo Duterte. He is among the convicts inside the country’s major prison facility who was discovered by authorities to have lived a posh lifestyle while inside the cell.
2. Kerwin Espinosa
A photograph of Senator Leila De Lima with suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa has leaked last month.
Espinosa was said to be the biggest drug dealer operating in Eastern Visayas.
The controversial photo was taken in March in the city of Baguio.
De Lima, nevertheless, has denied affiliation with Espinosa noting that the picture might have been captured during the electoral campaign.
"Hindi ko kilala, hindi ko maalala yan. 'Nung eleksyon siguro yan (I don’t recognize, I don’t remember that. Maybe that was during the election time)," the female senator said in an interview.
“I don’t know Espinosa, even the father,” De Lima told the media.
3. Jaybee Nino “JB” Sebastian
He is a suspected leader/commander of Sigue Sigue commando or the presidio side who controls 4 gangs and some Chinese drug dealers operating inside the Bilibid.
Former police inspector Rodolfo Magleo who got convicted of kidnapping dropped the name of Sebastian during the House probe on Tuesday. Magleo testified that De Lima received millions to provide special treatment for the drug dealer Sebastian.
Magleo noted that the former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) secretary would visit Sebastian and the two would spend hours talking.
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“Siya ay ininvite si Senator De Lima sa bungalow. (Senator De Lima invited him in the bungalow.) For me it’s something abnormal. I could sense something… Papasok si Sec. De Lima sa kubol ni Sebastian na dalawa lang sila at aabutin ng two to three hours sa kubol niya (Sec. De Lima would enter the kubol of Sebastian, just the two of them and they would spend two or three hours inside),” he said.
“Pag-alis ni Sec.. sasabihin ni Jaybee, nakita niyo gaano ako kalakas kay Sec. De Lima (Once Sec. De Lima left, Jaybee would boast how close he is with Sec. De Lima),” Magleo furthered.
Video from GMA News and Public Affairs