Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on Monday said there was still no reason for her office to launch an investigation against Sen. Leila de Lima on her alleged involvement in drugs.
“It’s not going to happen,” Morales said when asked by reporters at the sidelines of a forum on whether a motu propio investigation will be launched by her office against De Lima.
“Because lahat naman allegations itong mga ito. Wala pa namang lead talaga that would prompt us to initiate our investigation,” she explained.
De Lima is accused of receiving money from the illegal drug operation inside the New Bilibid Prison when he was justice secretary.
Morales said the complaint filed against the senator before the Office of the Ombudsman in Visayas will be forwarded to her office after it conducts its own fact-finding probe.
Morales said the Department of Justice (DOJ) should also be given the opportunity to conduct its own fact-finding investigation since another complaint has been lodged before it against De Lima.
“If it’s necessary and if they (DOJ) believe there is reason to conduct further investigation or for us to conduct a preliminary investigation, then the case will come to us,” she said.
“When the case comes to us and if we believe the fact-finding investigation is exhaustive enough to merit our preliminary investigation if there is any crime committed, then we will follow through with it,” Morales added.
The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) has filed charges against De Lima before the DOJ for allegedly tolerating drug syndicates inside the New Bilibid Prison when she was justice secretary chief in exchange for funds for her senatorial campaign.
Meanwhile, Albuera police chief Inspector Jove Espenido accused the senator of receiving payoffs from suspected Eastern Visayas drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, who has been arrested in Abu Dhabi.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has said that the findings of the DOJ’s preliminary investigation on the drug trafficking complaint against De Lima will be forwarded to the Office of Ombudsman.