Senator Leila de Lima on Friday said the convicted police officer who testified on her alleged links to the prison drug trade is a relative of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Meron akong natanggap na impormasyon kanina na ‘yang Durano na yan – I think he’s no longer in the active service – pero pulis siya. Napaka-corrupt daw ng pulis na ‘yan, taga Danao City and relative daw ‘yan ng Pangulong Duterte,” De Lima said in a chance interview with reporters.
De Lima was referring to former PO3 Engelberto Durano, Batang Cebu Brotherhood member, one of the witnesses presented by the Department of Justice to the House justice committee investigating the alleged drug proliferation inside the New Bilibid Prison.
But Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II denied De Lima's information.
“Hindi. Hindi tama 'yun,” Aguirre told reporters. During the House justice committee hearing on Thursday, Durano claimed to have personally handed to De Lima, then DOJ Secretary, P1.5 million placed inside a gift-wrapped shoe box.
De Lima denied receiving money from Durano, nor any payoffs from convicted drug lords inside the Bilibid. “I don’t know him.
I have not met him so kasinungalingan po ‘yan,” De Lima said. “Never akong tumatanggap kahit ano lalo na from the so-called drug money. Sa mga acts of corruption, hindi ako nagiging involved kahit anong klaseng acts of corruption,” the senator said.