Tuesday 22 January, 2019
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De Lima files complaint versus Guevarra, Aguirre for graft, negligence in prosecution

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Detained opposition Senator Leila de Lima has filed a complaint before the Ombudsman against Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and his predecessor Vitaliano Aguirre II for graft, negligence in prosecution and toleration of criminal offenses.

In her 22-page complaint, De Lima accused the two Justice secretaries of “illegally admitting as state witnesses” 13 inmates who implicated her in the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prisons.

She questioned the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) reliance on the statements of the following: Nonilo Arile, Jojo Baligad, Herbert Colanggo, Engelberto Durano, Rodolfo Magleo, Vicente Sy, Hans Tan, Froilan Trestiza, Peter Co, Noel Martinez, Joel Capones, German Agojo, and Jaime Patcho.

This allegedly violated Section 10 of the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act, which explicitly excluded persons “convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude” from being admitted as state witnesses.

Not only did she accuse Guevarra and Aguirre of “dereliction of [their] duties,” De Lima also bemoaned the “malice and deliberate intent to favor the convicts as they have not only been freed from prosecution, but also provided immunity and protection under the Witness Protection Program.”

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