Ex-NBI officials tag former Justice Secretary as ‘Mother of all Drug Lords’
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Two former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) officials on Thursday accused their former boss allegedly linked to the proliferation of illegal drugs within the Philippine national jail as the “mother of all drug lords.”
NBI Deputy Directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala charged Senator Leila De Lima of violating the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, also known as Republic Act 9165.
“Senator de Lima, acting as the mother of all drug lords and through the use of her authority, was able to appoint and designate men inside the Bilibid in order to ensure the perpetuation of illegal drug trade,” the two former officials said in their complaint.
Former Bureau of Corrections Chief Rafael Ragos was also named a respondent in the complaint.
They claimed De Lima, who was then Justice Secretary, utilized her power and authority to abet and even promote the proliferation of massive drug trade inside Bilibid.
“This could not have been possible without the support of other corrupt officials and one of them is Ragos,” they added.
In 2014, Esmeralda and Lasala were removed from their posts by then President Benigno Aquino III on recommendation by De Lima.
Their complaint comes two days after a first complaint filed against De Lima and seven others by anti-crime watchdog, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre on Wednesday said they will treat the first complaint like “any other charge” pending before the department.
“Sinabi ko sa kanya na hindi ko ginagamit ang aking office para i-persecute. Para i-prosecute siya, puwede,” Aguirre said.
He insisted the Department of Justice has jurisdiction over the drug trafficking complaints against De Lima, who questioned this, saying it should have been filed with the Ombudsman.
De Lima also called Aguirre “master of fakery,” which prompted a riposte from the Justice Secretary.
“So master of fakery…Sinasabi niya ‘yung aking buhok finake ko (She says I faked my hair). Well puwede ko sabihin sa kanya (I can tell her) ‘I might be losing my hair but she’s losing her mind,'” said Aguirre, who sports a toupee.