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WATCH | DOJ submits for resolution NBI's second criminal complaint vs De Lima

Combination pictures of confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa (L), Senator Leila De Lima (C) and her former driver-bodyguard and lover Ronnie Dayan (R). INTERAKSYON/FILES
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines  -- The Department of Justice on Friday concluded its preliminary investigation of the criminal charges filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against Senator Leila de Lima in connection with the claim of suspected big-time drug lord Kerwin Espinosa that he gave the former DOJ chief P8 million to support her campaign for a Senate seat.

The investigating panel chaired by Senior Associate State Prosecutor Peter Ong decided to submit for resolution the complaint against De Lima, her former driver-bodyguard and lover Ronnie Dayan and Espinosa for the charges of violation of Section 5 of Republic Act 9165 (The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2012).

It will be recalled during the Senate inquiry last November that Kerwin said he paid millions of pesos in protection money to police officials and De Lima, whom he claimed, received some P8 million through Dayan, for her campaign in the May 2016 elections.

Espinosa, together with his two legal counsels present at the hearing, submitted his supplemental judicial affidavit regarding the drug money given to De Lima.

During the hearing, Ong gave Espinosa, De Lima’s lawyer Atty. Filibon Tacardon until Jan. 13 to submit their counter-affidavit.

But Tacordon manifested that he would submit his client’s counter-affidavit after the panel inhibits itself and resolves first his omnibus motion that only the Ombudsman has jurisdiction over public officials like De Lima.

“I am not pushing my luck too far but my manifestation is that with the extended time requested by Espinosa to submit his counter-affidavit, I would like to ask the panel to make the preliminary resolution on my omnibus motion. I hope the 14 (20th) day period will be sufficient for the panel to decide on the issues raised on my omnibus motion so if ever my motion will be denied then we can take the necessary legal steps by preparing the counter (affidavit) of Sen. De Lima or raising the matter on appeal. So since we will be allowed 15 days, I hope this panel will have time to resolve first my omnibus motion,” Tacordon explained.

Tacardon sought reconsideration and asked if the panel deemed waived the right of the senator to submit her response to the NBI’s second complaint.

“We seek reconsideration of the panel with respect to my earlier manifestation for an early resolution of my omnibus motion,” he added.

Whereby, the panel headed by Ong decided to submit the complaint for resolution and not accept the counter-affidavit from De Lima’s camp.

Espinosa's camp will be filing a motion to dismiss this complaint since he was admitted in the DOJ's Witness Protection Program.

De Lima is also facing four drug charges filed by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), National Bureau of Investigation, former NBI deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala and high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian.