Witnesses enough to file complaint against De Lima - Justice Secretary

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The justice department is building a case against Senator Leila De Lima over her alleged involvement in the drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison.

Based on the testimonies of witnesses they have gathered,  Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said they can already file a complaint against De Lima for violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act and Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

"Base lamang dun sa mga (Based on the) affidavit, pwede nang magfile ng (we can already file a) complaint and this could undergo a preliminary investigation," Aguirre said during a media briefing at the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday.

He clarifies though the department is still gathering additional evidence against everyone involved.

Last week, Aguirre revealed high profile inmates have come forward and expressed willingness to testify against De Lima, including drug convicts Herbert Colangco and Noel Martinez.

But they are apparently not the only ones spilling the beans on the former justice chief.

Aguirre said National Bureau of Investigation Deputy Director Rafael Ragos is also prepared to testify on what he knows--particularly, that he personally delivered drug money to De Lima.

This supposedly happened during his stint as Bureau of Corrections OIC director from 2012 to 2013.

"Magtetestify siya dun sa several instances na nagdeliver siya ng ₱5 million sa bahay ni Secretary De Lima (He will testify on several instances when he delivered ₱5 million to Secretary De Lima's house)," Aguirre said.

Ragos's testimony will supposedly be backed by his former security aide, identified by the DOJ as a certain Junior Ablan.

Also read: Drug lord to testify vs. De Lima

Immunity from suit

Aguirre said inmates and former prison officials  will be among the first witnesses to be presented during the Congressional probe on the proliferation of drugs at the New Bilibid Prison.

To encourage witnesses, including inmates, to open up and reveal what they know, Aguirre says they will be given immunity from suit.

He said he has discussed this with leaders of the House of Representatives and they agreed that it would be reasonable to grant witnesses immunity.

"Whatever they will say, hindi sila maaaring idemanda (charges could not be filed against them). It could not be used against them," Aguirre said.

The DOJ is also trying to get inmate Jaybee Sebastian, another high-profile convict, to testify against De Lima.

Sebastian is De Lima's alleged contact inside the New Bilibid Prison, and the person who allegedly collected drug money from various gangs for De Lima's electoral campaign in the May elections.

When all these are brought up at the actual Congressional hearing, De Lima is not going to be there.

The neophyte Senator does not recognize the proceedings and describes the inquiry as a sham.

Related: PNP SAF mans Bilibid, seizes contraband