De Lima welcomes Ombudsman’s decision not to probe her for now


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MANILA, Oct. 18 (PNA) — Senator Leila de Lima on Tuesday welcomed the recent decision of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales not to probe the former for her alleged involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) during her term as justice secretary.

Morales earlier told reporters that she will not conduct a motu propio investigation on de Lima since there was still a lack of leads that prove the allegations.

De Lima, who expressed deep respect for the Ombudsman, however said that this does not mean that the Ombudsman would no longer look into the cases entirely.

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“I have so much respect to the Ombudsman, and I’m sure she knows what she is talking about…But I’d like to believe that it’s not like that…she’s not really saying that completely she will no longer look into the cases being filed against me,” de Lima said.

“I think she was just really referring to the motu propio aspect of her mandate that insofar as that aspect of the Ombudsman mandate is concerned, she has not found any evidence. But it doesn’t mean later, for example, the (findings) in DOJ (Department of Justice) prosper, if it is filed in the Ombudsman, I think that’s a subject as a matter of course,” she added.

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She also pointed out that no case has even been filed against her in the Ombudsman yet.

The neophyte senator reiterated that the congressional hearings on her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade were “inconsistent”.

She explained that if the DOJ obtains findings it could file at the Ombudsman, the Ombudsman could then conduct its own independent verification.

Asked for her reaction that the DOJ would be presenting Visayas-based drug lord Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa to testify against her, de Lima denied that she knew him personally. (PNA)

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