MANILA - Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II vehemently denied Thursday that he restored the luxury privileges of some high-profile inmates at the military custodial center in Camp Crame in exchange for linking Senator De Leila to the Bilibid narcotics trade.
De Lima, citing a "confidential" document she obtained, alleged Wednesday that Aguirre allowed convicted robber Herbert Colanggo and other inmates who testified against her at a House inquiry to use cellular phones and other electronic gadgets, television, air-conditioning units and even internet access.
An indignant Aguirre, however, insisted he gave no such orders, adding that he immediately ordered Bureau of Corrections officials to investigate the accommodation of the inmates following De Lima's accusation.
"Wala pong katotohanan iyan... Iyung official document na magsasabing inutusan ko ng special privileges iyan, kalokohan po iyan. Wala po akong ginagawang ganyan. at hindi ako nagto-tolerate n'yan," he told rado DZMM.
(That is not true. The supposed official document saying that I authorized those special privileges, that is a joke. I did no such thing and I don't tolerate that.)
Aguirre turned the table on De Lima, saying she may have made the accusations only because she has information that state prosecutors have almost completed their investigation of the drug charges against her.
"Palagay ko po ay nalaman ni Senator De Lima na talagang mareresolba na, baka mayroon siyang naaamoy... Definitely, it will come out in a few days and alam ni Senator De Lima iyan sapagkat napakarami niyang mata at tainga sa Department of Justice," he said.
(I think Senator De Lim learned that the case will be resolved soon, maybe she smelled something... Definitely, the decision will come out in a few days and Senator De Lima knows that because she has many eyes and ears at the Department of Justice.)
"Ibig sabihin ba n'yan inaamin niyang noon pa lang siya ay secretary of justice na iyang mga iyan ay nag-e-enjoy ng special privileges?" he said.
Colanggo's group was transferred from Bilibid to Crame after a September riot left an inmate dead at the state penitentiary.
Aguirre said he has requested the Department of National Defense to extend the inmates' stay at the military facility as it is still not safe for them to return to Bilibid.
SOURCE: ABS-CBN NEWS
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