MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice has collated bank documents allegedly showing that over P38 million in cash deposits were made to the bank accounts of two relatives of Sen. Leila de Lima’s driver and reported lover in 2014.
This information came out during the DOJ’s fact-finding investigation on the illegal drug operations in the New Bilibid Prison when De Lima was secretary of justice.
The STAR obtained bank deposit slips showing that millions of pesos went to the bank accounts of Hannah Mae Dayan and Marco Palisoc – daughter and cousin of Ronnie Dayan, respectively.
The DOJ has forwarded the bank records to the Anti-Money Laundering Council for verification, according to a well-placed source.
Dayan’s account received P24 million in four cash deposits – P3 million on Feb. 7, 2014; P9 million on Feb. 21, 2014; P6 million on March 14, 2014 and P6 million on March 28, 2014.
Palisoc’s account got P14,304,000 in two cash deposits – P9,600,000 on Sept. 16, 2014 and P4,704,000 on Oct. 23, 2014.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II earlier revealed that investigators have gathered bank deposit slips of several staff of De Lima and people linked to her totaling to over P88 million.
Other bank records showed cash deposits in accounts of De Lima’s former staff Jonathan Caranto (P24 million), Bogs Obuyes (P24 million) and Marrel Obuyes (P2.2 million).
Aguirre asked the AMLC to verify the deposits amid suspicion that some quarters were out to sabotage the DOJ probe and feed investigators with wrong information.
The DOJ received the AMLC report last week, but Aguirre did not divulge the findings due to the Bank Secrecy Law.
He only hinted that the report covered more than 10 people he branded as “friends of De Lima.”
“If there is any link (between drug money and De Lima), it’s indirect – only bank accounts of her companions, friends and employees,” he said.
“But these people have no big sources of income to get millions in deposits, so what other conclusion could you get?”
Aguirre also revealed that probers are also verifying information that about P500 million in drug money went to a duly registered corporation doing business in the national penitentiary. He did not name the firm pending probe.
He also would not reveal what the DOJ would do next with the AMLC report – if it could be used to seek a freeze order from the Court of Appeals.
“For now, this AMLC report will be for our use to further our investigation until a case is filed in court,” he said.
Aguirre believes that the money trail would bolster the testimonial evidence from high-profile NBP inmates against De Lima.
“We asked for additional reports because we received so many bank account numbers,” he said. “We’re just in the first wave. As I said earlier, the information is just overflowing.”
In the House of Representatives inquiry, high-profile inmates led by robbery and carjack convict Herbert Colanggo claimed that they gave millions of payola to De Lima for protection of their illicit businesses and activities in the NBP.
Aguirre said he has tapped the National Bureau of Investigation to pursue the probe as more witnesses are set to be presented before the House.
Dayan has been subpoenaed to appear before the House, but he could not be located.