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Leila lashes out at Arroyo lawyer: I’m not a drug trafficker

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Senator Leila de Lima lost her cool at lawyer Ferdinand Topacio during the Senate hearing on bills reinstating the death penalty Tuesday (Feb. 7) after he branded her as a drug trafficker.

In arguing for the revival of capital punishment, Topacio said some drug traffickers are capable of continuing their trade behind bars.

“They are still capable of dealing in drugs which is why the VACC, the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), and other agencies filed cases for drug trafficking against Senator De Lima and other persons,” he said.

While Topacio said the charges against the senator have yet to be provev, he said there were already drug pushers who testified at the House of Representatives late last year that they were still in the illegal drug trade.

“[T]herefore the rehabilitative element is not accomplished,” he said.

Aside from supposed involvement in the narcotics trade, some inmates from the New Bilibid Prison also accused De Lima of being a protector of drug lords when she was justice secretary.

In response, De Lima said: “Atty. Topacio, while not in very expressed terms, just called me a drug trafficker. I want him to take that back!”

Topacio said that his statement was just based on mere allegations.

De Lima, however, took offense at being singled out by Topacio.

“Of all people, why only single out only Senator Leila de Lima? I am not a drug trafficker! Bakit hindi mo pangalanan mga tunay na drug trafficker? Ako lang kinakasuhan ninyo!” she said.

De Lima has repeatedly denied any involvement in the illegal drug trade.

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