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Kiko, De Lima hit Aguirre for tagging LP anew in ‘ridiculous’ P100-M bribery try

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Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and Sen. Leila de Lima took turns in giving Justice Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre II a beating for coming out with the “ridiculous” accusation implicating the Liberal Party, that of supposedly attempting to bribe at least high-profile inmates with P100 million.

Aguirre, on Friday morning (Feb. 24), named former Sen. Jamby Madrigal and Binan,

Laguna Rep. Marlene Alonte, as the alleged financiers and tried to broker a deal with the convicts in exchange for the withdrawal of their testimonies against De Lima.

“The Liberal Party (LP) is not party is not involved in any bribe-giving and in any bribery attempts and this information is obviously inaccurate,” Pangilinan, LP president, said.

Pangilinan said Aguirre’s claims are once again baseless and unfounded, as what has been shown in the past when the justice secretary came out with pronouncements that the senator along with De Lima and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV were out to pin him down on the involvement of two former Bureau of Immigration (BI) officials in the bribery-extortion of Chinese gambling tycoon Jack Lam.

“This is the same secretary who accused us of supposedly being involved in a conspiracy to pin him down and then a day or two after he made the allegations, he apologized to me. Apparently he’s the same secretary who apparently once he gets the information will say it immediately and unfortunately in this case, he is again mistaken.

“This is baseless and unfounded. Whatever information he’s receiving, I believe he has to double check and verify because in this case again he is mistaken. We are not involved in any efforts at bribing witnesses. This is ridiculous,” said Pangilinan.

De Lima, for his part, distanced herself from any association with either Alonte or Madrigal, both of whom are not really close to her personally.

“This already a habit of Aguirre, coming up with ridiculous claims, coming up with unprocessed information, coming up with accusations that have not been (processed). I really do not know where is that coming from,” she said.

De Lima said she hardly know Madrigal while admittedly Alonte is a supporter of her in the last elections, is not really close to her.

“I hardly know former Sen. Jamby Madrigal. If I have met her before, it was several years ago, about once or twice in an official function but I have no personal connection to her,” she said.

As to Alonte, De Lima said it raised question even to her why the congresswoman would engage in such act of trying to convince or trying to bribe drug convicts in order to change their testimonies.

“The last time that I saw or talked with (former Binan) Mayor Alonte was during the campaign period. This is ridiculous, this is false, these are brazen lies. They have been coming up with a lot of lies, just to try and destroy me. They keep on coming up with new issues in the hope that people will really try to believe their portrayal of me as something that can never be trusted as a public official. It’s too much,” she said.