De Lima on BBL bribery: ‘Ridiculous,’ ‘fairy tale’
RIDICULOUS and a fairy tale is how Justice Secretary Leila de Lima called the allegation that the Aquino administration used funds from an alleged Chinese crime lord to raise campaign funds for the ruling Liberal Party and to guarantee the swift approval of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
“What a ridiculous claim! What a ridiculous story! Such a fairy tale,” de Lima told reporters when asked about reports that the money taken from Wang Bo, a Chinese national wanted by the International Police and the Chinese government, went to the lawmakers to support the BBL.
Wang who is wanted in China for embezzling $100 million, and was ordered released by the Bureau of Immigration.
The release order for Wang was made even though the government was aware that his passport had been cancelled, that he was wanted by Interpol, and had a pending warrant of arrest in China.
His release order was issued last May 21 by the Board of Commissioners led by Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison with Deputy Commissioners Abdullah Mangotara and Gilberto Repizo as members.
De Lima said she will meet with Immigration officials for “clarificatory questioning on factual matters” about their order last month for the release of Wang.
This, she said, would “set the record straight and clear the air” on allegations of corruption or bribery in the case of Wang.
“I just want to know what really happened in that case. If money changed hands, then we should really investigate well and file charges. But if this is just rumor, then it’s also unfair for them (commissioners),” she stressed.
De Lima said she would meet with the BI officials led by Mison either Tuesday or Wednesday.
The BI is an attached agency of the Department of Justice. AC
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