Senator Leila de Lima on Sunday belied the allegation arising from a viral video that she sat next to and literally rubbed elbows with convicted bank robber Herbert Colanggo at an event in Manila last year.
In a text message, De Lima clarified that it was Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas sitting next to her, and not Colanggo.
"That video was actually taken during my birthday at the DOJ quadrangle last Aug. 27, 2015.
"What was claimed to be Colanggo was really Cong. Alfred Vargas, who was one of the guests," De Lima said, adding that many DOJ personnel were present at the event.
The video, which was widely shared on social media, showed De Lima singing upon singer Imelda Papin's prodding.
When she returned to her seat, the man sitting next to her bumped elbows with her.
Vargas confirmed that he was the one seating next to De Lima, adding that he had sore eyes then so he used his elbow instead of shaking hands with her.
"I had sore eyes that time so I had to wear sunglasses and could not properly shake hands with everybody," Vargas said in a text message.
"I hope this statement clarifies matters to all parties concerned and brings us closer to the truth," he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte recently named Colanggo, Peter Lim, and Peter Co as some of the top drug lords in the country.
De Lima earlier said that while she lauds Duterte's determination to eradicate illegal drugs in the country, she suspects that some of those killed because of his anti-drug campaign were summarily executed.
She has filed a Senate resolution seeking the chamber's nod to investigate the rising number of slain drug suspects.
Colangco and Co are detained in the New Bilibid Prisons but are allegedly still able to run illegal drugs syndicates. Meanwhile, Lim is believed to have remained at large. — LBG, GMA News