Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said that their case against Senator Leila de Lima has become even stronger with the testimony of Police Director Benjamin B. Magalong that the police and drug agents were eased out of the planned raid against drug lords inside the New Bilibid Prison two years ago.
In the House hearing Wednesday, Aguirre said that Magalong “doubled” the strength of the cases to be filed against de Lima whose high-profile December 2014 raid of the NBP didn’t include the operation’s original planners – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) – who codenamed their plan ‘Cronus.’
“Even as of yesterday, we have enough evidence to file this case. But now we believe that with General Magalong’s statement, the strength of our case has double,” said Aguirre.
Aguirre said that it was clear that de Lima’s raid – which resulted into the transfer of 19 drug lords to the maximum security prison while leaving de Lima’s alleged pet inmate, Jaybee Sebastian, as the top dog in the Bilibid trade – was all for show when only her cohorts from the Bureau of Corrections led the raid and only K-9 dogs were brought and not the PDEA agents.
Aside from de Lima, the NBP raid was then led by then BuCor Chief Franklin Bucayu, then Police Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo, and then Philippine Anti-Organized Crime Commission executive director. Magalong said the three former generals were classmates at the Philippine Military Academy Class +f 1981.
Majority Leader Rudy Farinas said Magalong “sewed up” the testimony of the high-profile inmates against de Lima by giving context to the controversial Bilibid raid.