MANILA - Senator Leila de Lima on Thursday described as ''outlandish'' and ''outrageous'' the insinuations linking former President Benigno ''Noynoy'' Aquino III to the alleged narcotics trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP). This, after Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II claimed that an official from the "yellow" party who is "higher than De Lima" benefited from the supposed payoffs of drug lords detained at NBP.
While Aguirre did not name anyone, De Lima said he could only be referring to Aquino, her fellow member of the Liberal Party, which used the yellow color as its symbol during the previous administration. De Lima also noted that Aquino was the only official higher than her when she was still Justice secretary.
"Sino pa ba ang official na 'yellow' na mataas sa akin noon [Who else was a yellow official who was higher than me]? When I was secretary of Justice, I was an alter ego of the President. Therefore, the only one higher than me is President PNoy himself," she said. Insisting there is no truth to the accusation, De Lima slammed the Duterte administration for spewing fabricated stories against her and her allies. “Are they saying, is my President also a beneficiary of these things? Of course not! You know PNoy. Very outlandish, very outrageous,” she scoffed.
“Masyado na silang nagiging confident sa sarili nila [They're becoming too confident of themselves], they're becoming so reckless, they're resorting sa mga kwentong kutsero ngayon [to fabricated stories]. It's getting to be laughable.” De Lima on Monday was ousted as chair of the Senate committee on justice which is investigating the growing tally of extrajudicial killings in the new government’s war on drugs. She is also at the center of a House inquiry on the alleged proliferation of the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) during her term as justice secretary. Aquino, meanwhile, has vowed not to comment on Duterte during the new government’s first year.