Another drug trafficking complaint has been filed against Senator Leila De Lima before the Department of Justice (DOJ) in relation to the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
On Thursday, De Lima, along with former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos, were slapped by former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala with complaints for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act (Republic Act 9165).
Both De Lima and Ragos were accused of conspiracy to commit drug trade and selling dangerous drugs, the same charges raised by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) who filed the first complaint on Tuesday.
Also on Wednesday, the chief of the Albuera, Leyte police filed a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman against De Lima and a barangay kagawad for allegedly receiving drug money.
De Lima has repeatedly denied allegations that she tolerated drug syndicates inside the national penitentiary when she was justice chief in exchange for funds to bankroll her senatorial campaign early this year.
But the complaint cited statements of several witnesses, including high profile inmates, who testified before the House inquiry on the NBP drug mess on De Lima and Ragos' complicity in the illegal drug trade.
'Mother of all drug lords'
As "mother of all drug lords," the complaint said De Lima was able to appoint and designate men inside the NBP in order to ensure the "perpetuation" of illegal drug trade, including Ragos.
Ragos, for one, admitted he had delivered P5 million twice from drug proceeds to De Lima's Parañaque residence in late 2012.
"Respondents in this case knew that what were sold and traded were all prohibited drugs. Respondents took cover from the protection granted by Sec. De Lima in order to ensure proliferation of the illegal drug trade, not only inside the Bilibid, but also from the outside," the complaint read.
"What we have in this case is no ordinary sale transaction involving prohibited drugs in between a certain seller and buyer. This case involves a large-scale drug trade controlled by a drug syndicate comprising of respondents who joined together with the intention of committing such as heinous criminal offense."
De Lima had every motive to engage in illegal drug trade, the complaint said, because she already had the ambition to become a senator even before the 2013 midterm elections.
"Sen. De Lima was reported to have spent P86,153,300.49 (for her 2016 campaign). But is that all there is? During the campaign period, the visibility of Sen. De Lima's campaign advertisement on television was massive," the complaint stated.
"For all the advertisement she contracted during the election campaign, where would she get the money from? One could not turn the blind eye on her actual source of fund. She had generous benefactors from inside the Bilibid. This explains why she never had second thoughts in running for one of the highest political positions in the country," it added.
The complainants also questioned De Lima's decision to make personal visits on high profile inmates living in lavish quarters, conduct "raids" inside the NBP yet excluding the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group from the operation and exclude inmate Jaybee Sebastian in those who were transferred to the NBI in December 2014.
It was Sebastian who allegedly instructed gang leaders to raise funds for De Lima through illegal drugs.
"With all the damning evidence before us, can we safely say that the monster--narco-politics--has indeed devoured all the respondents including then Secretary now Senator of the Republic of the Philippines Leila De Lima herself?" the complaint stated.
The senator earlier blasted Esmeralda and Lasala for making threats that they will implicate her in the illegal drug trade, saying the two had an axe to grind with her.
Upon De Lima's recommendation, both Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala were fired by then President Benigno Aquino III in 2014 supposedly due to "integrity and trust issues" stemming from their alleged involvement in tipping off alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Napoles about her looming arrest for a serious illegal detention case.
Napoles was eventually convicted by a Makati court for detaining whistleblower Benhur Luy.