Grounds for a probe of De Lima’s role in NBP drug trade | Inquirer Opinion
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Grounds for a probe of De Lima’s role in NBP drug trade

12:17 AM August 10, 2016

Sen. Leila de Lima’s refusal to be interpellated by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano after her privilege speech, calling for a Senate investigation on alleged drug-related extrajudicial killings, speaks volumes about her flimsy position on the issue.

If De Lima could defend her claim that men identified with President Duterte are behind the alleged efforts to harass her through social media and through a congressional probe on her actions as justice secretary, she would not have backed down from answering Cayetano’s questions.

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It’s good that Cayetano delivered his own privilege speech after De Lima to elucidate that no one, not even a senator of the land like De Lima, is above the law and exempt from congressional inquiries.

I am no lawyer, but in the same way that De Lima wanted the Senate to investigate the alleged extrajudicial killings, perhaps House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez could pursue his call for a House probe on the drug trade that proliferated at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) when De Lima was justice secretary.

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The NBP is directly under the Department of Justice, thus De Lima was directly responsible and could be prosecuted for the shenanigans that happened at the NBP during her watch as justice secretary.

I agree, too, with Speaker Alvarez that extrajudicial killings are either murder or homicide and are already covered and penalized by the Revised Penal Code. De Lima’s proposed investigation of extrajudicial killings would not amount to any new laws being passed, thus it would be an utter waste of taxpayers’ money.

—NORIEL CONSIGNADO, [email protected]

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TAGS: drug trade, Leila de Lima, New Bilibid Prison
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