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De Lima camp: No 'thread of evidence' of Colanggo's drug link claims

The camp of former Senator Leila de Lima on Monday said that convicted drug dealer Herbert Colanggo failed to present evidence to prove that she was involved in drug transactions during her stint as Justice secretary.

Filibon "Boni" Tacardon, De Lima's legal counsel, said this during the resumption of the hearing for the cross examination of Colanggo at the Muntinlupa Hall of Justice, which de Lima attended.

“Ang isang magandang napalabas natin kay Herbert Colangco is despite all his accusations against Senator Leila de Lima, there is not a single thread of evidence presented to prove such transactions. Ang gusto lang ni Herbert Colangco paniwalaan natin siya dahil ito’y sinabi niya, na isang inmate na umamin na siya’s convicted ng robbery na kung saan may napatay,” the lawyer said.

(The one good thing we were able to get from Herbert Colangco today was despite all his accusations against Senator Leila de Lima, there was not a single thread of evidence presented to prove such transactions. He just wants us to believe him because he said it. He’s an inmate who admitted that he’s convicted of robbery in which someone was killed.)

Colanggco earlier said that there were matters he would reveal about de Lima and their supposed drug transactions in the New Bilibid Prison, and these claims were supported by evidence.

He had said that he handed over P1.2 million to Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) director Franklin Bucayu every month. He also testified that he gave money to de Lima's former aide Joenel Sanchez.

However, Tacardon said that Colanggco was not able to show proof for his claims.

“Inamin niya na wala siyang kasulatan at sinasabi niya, illegal daw ‘yun kaya hindi niya naisusulat…‘yung mga pinaggagawa niya kaya wala siyang record nito. Nagkaron daw siya ng record dati kaya lang sinunog daw niya at tinapon. Kahit ‘yung sinabi niyang ka-text niya se de Lima, inamin rin niya na wala siyang patunay na siya nga ‘yung nakapag-text o nakapag-communicate sa kanya at lahat yan ay salita daw lang niya ang kanyang paninindigan,” he added.

(He admitted that he didn't have a document and he said that it was illegal so he was not able to write down the records. He said he used to have a record, but he burned it and threw it away. He also admitted that he had no proof that he was the one who texted or communicated with de Lima.)

In January, former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Sandra Cam said she has apologized to detained former senator Leila De Lima for being a “tool” that contributed to her detainment because she supposedly helped in obtaining evidence against the latter.

Cam previously claimed she tipped off authorities about self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa's whereabouts.

Both Espinosa and former BuCor officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos have retracted their testimonies against De Lima.

De Lima has been detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center inside Camp Crame since February 2017 over allegations that she benefited from the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison when she was Justice secretary.—LDF, GMA Integrated News