Duterte: De Lima's affair caused Bilibid irregularities

(Philstar.com) - August 21, 2016 - 7:28pm
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte Sunday accused Sen. Leila de Lima of “lying through her teeth” when she denied any involvement with illegal drugs and even claimed that her affair with her married driver paved the way to irregularities in the national penitentiary.
Duterte, who previously claimed that De Lima’s lover had collected money from drug lords to fund her senatorial bid, said he is ready to step down if proven wrong.
“I’ve been telling the congressman if I am lying…I said you can impeach me,” the president said in a press conference in Davao City.  
“She (De Lima) is lying through her teeth…You know in all of her answers, she was only telling about drugs, now she denied there are leads about drugs but she never said true or false about the driver. And the driver is the connect. Everyone inside (the penitentiary) were talking about the driver,” he added.  
“That relationship with her driver, which I termed ‘immoral’ because the driver has a family and a wife, gave rise — that connection gave rise to the corruption of what was happening inside the national penitentiary.”
Duterte claimed that during De Lima's stint as Justice secretary, special privileges were given to almost all inmates. The New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa is being maintained by the Bureau of Corrections, which is under the Justice department.
“There were parties being held almost every night; there was a combo, a musical group; liquors and alcoholic drinks flowed freely and women went inside and out the prison,” the president said.
Duterte also alleged that De Lima, who has been critical of the administration’s war on drugs, had allowed the trafficking of shabu from the national penitentiary.
“Would you think that a driver — a Department of Justice employee — could have allowed these things all by himself? These illegal things which you saw on TV almost every day for about a month, do you think that (will happen) without De Lima giving him the authority to allow the inmates to do that? All of these could have only happened if there was the go-signal from the head of the department, which is the secretary,” he added. 
De Lima’s driver and alleged lover was identified by previous reports as Ronnie Palisoc Dayan. Duterte said De Lima had built a house for her driver, whom he claimed is involved in illegal drugs. Previous reports said the house is a bungalow and is located in Barangay Galarin in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan.
De Lima, has denied having links with the narcotics trade but admitted that there were “snippets of truth” in Duterte’s allegations. While de Lima did not say which among Duterte’s allegations are true, she claimed that the president would “lose face” for making false allegations. 

‘Tell the truth or else’

Duterte warned all jail personnel in Muntinlupa to tell the truth about the drug trafficking during congressional probes or face the consequences.
“If you do not tell the truth before any committee or any governmental body, be it the Senate or the House of Representatives, be prepared to be charged for what that is serious negligence of duty I hope it is not that you were in conspiracy with the prisoners,” the tough-talking chief executive said.  
“You were there all the time that these things happened. Do you mean to say that you did not report it to your superiors? Or you allow these things to happen by yourself, only your authority and nobody else’s?” he added.
“Now if you are not ready to tell the truth, I said be ready to be ousted. You are all invited in the meantime to go to Basilan and find your places there and in Jolo. You are going there, all of you. I will be assigning you there.” 
Duterte also claimed to have “intercepts” of conversations that would establish Dayan’s role in the proliferation of drugs inside the national penitentiary. He admitted though that the intercepts, which were given by “another friendly country” for free, cannot be used as an evidence in court.
According to Duterte, the “friendly” country also provided an ATM and codes emanating from Muntinlupa but did not elaborate.  
Asked to describe the conversations, Duterte replied: “No, of course not. I only listened to it once, but what I mostly heard there: Lover’s talk. I am sure you will not be interested to hear it otherwise, you are fond of gossip.”  
“If she (De Lima) would face me here, I would tell her: Explain to me your immorality and explain to me your connection with the drug people. And why is it that during the birthday of one high-profile inmate you went ahead inside with your driver and celebrating with the rest of the inmates a party inside the police cell?” the president said.
“She cannot deny it because there are pictures taken at that time. But she never for a moment even to just deny it.”
Despite criticisms that he was using personal attacks to silence De Lima, Duterte maintained that the senator has no one to blame but herself for the issues she is facing.
“De Lima, furthest from my mind is to derogate your person. But I have to mention your relationship because it was your driver who was in contact with the rest of the guys there inside the prison,” the president said.
“And eventually Senator De Lima, it was your greed and your immorality that did you in. You cannot hide it. It’s all loose. I think it’s beyond your control already,” he added.
Last Thursday, Duterte said De Lima’s driver and alleged lover may soon turn witness against her. He said he can also use inmates to build a case against the senator.
Two days later, de Lima said her driver is facing death threats after he was accused of being a bagman of drug money.
Duterte, however, shrugged off De Lima’s claim.
“Why be afraid if there is nothing to hide? From the semantics itself, from the wordings itself, it’s very loaded. Very loaded…Why would she say that? That she is afraid that he would be used as a witness. Why give importance even to the statement if you have nothing there?” he said.  
Duterte also disputed the claim that the house in Pangasinan was named under the sister of De Lima’s driver.
“Where did she (driver’s sister) get the money? Tell me. Where did your driver get the money to build such a good house? Can you show me their income? What’s their business? And what is the work of your driver?” the president added.

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