The latest drug allegations against Liberal Party (LP) stalwarts Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas clearly proves the government’s “all-out attempt to demonize LP” and to “divert attention from pressing issues,” the political party said on Thursday.
Instead of “swallowing the words of the so-called bagman and wasting time on this new controversy,” the party said the government could just better use its time investigating and finding the culprits behind the entry of the P6.4-billion shabu shipment from China that slipped past the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
The LP also urged the administration to stop diverting public’s attention from issues such as rising commodity prices, alleged extrajudicial killings, corruption as well as drug smuggling at the BOC.
“After efforts to link the party to destabilization, it is now being accused of being involved in the illegal drug trade solely because of a baseless testimony of a so-called bagman of a drug syndicate,” the LP said in a statement.
“It appears this administration has the habit of manufacturing ‘witnesses’ who have questionable record and reputation, just like what it did to Senator Leila de Lima, who is now languishing in jail due to testimonies of convicted criminals serving jail sentences,” it added.
The LP then cited the alleged P1,000 taken from the P50 million bribe at the Bureau of Immigration (BI) involving members of the Lex Talionis fraternity “so the case would not be classified as plunder.”
The political party was referring to the alleged involvement of former BI Associate Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles in purported payoffs from Macau-based gambling tycoon Jack Lam.
Argosino and Robles, who were appointed to the BI in August 2016, were fraternity brothers of President Rodrigo Duterte – the most famous alumnus of Lex Talionis.
“There seem to be incidents of ‘dagdag-bawas’ of evidence at the Department of Justice (DOJ). Adding evidence for those considered as foes, and subtraction for friends,” the LP said.
On Wednesday, DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said they are poised to conduct an investigation against Drilon and Roxas as it would consider as a complaint the affidavit submitted by a drug personality from Iloilo tagging the two LP stalwarts as drug protectors.
Roxas previously dismissed the allegations against him as merely “based on hearsay” while Drilon has yet to comment on the issue.
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