MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – During a congressional probe into the prevalence of drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), a handful of prisoners who were presented as witnesses claimed that Senator Leila de Lima benefitted from the operations.
Aside from saying that the former justice secretary received “payouts” from drug operations inside the NBP, the witnesses alleged that a gang leader supposedly “raised funds” for De Lima’s planned bid for the Senate in the 2016 elections.
De Lima’s Statement of Contributions and Expenses (SOCE) submitted to the Commission on Elections after the May 2016 polls showed that she received a total of P86,831,095.19 in cash and in-kind contributions from a total of 114 individuals. From the amount, she spent P86,153,300.49 during the campaign period.
None of the names in the list have been mentioned by the witnesses in the congressional probe on the reported drug trade inside the national penitentiary. As prisoners, they would not be able to donate to De Lima’s campaign, let alone appear on the list.
Her top contributors gave P5 million each:
- Santiago D. Ortega Jr, lawyer and president of the University of Saint Anthony in Iriga City, Camarines Sur
- Ramon T. Gloria, from Quezon City
- Sheralyn P. Palpal-Latoc, from Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur
Her ex-husband, lawyer Plaridel Bohol II, gave a total of P1,547,402 to her senatorial campaign. De Lima’s brothers, Vicente Jr and Vicente II, also contributed P200,000 and P100,000, respectively.
Other notable contributors who gave at least P1 million are the following:
- Felix M. Runes Jr, real estate lessor from Manila – P3 million
- Steve Tiberio Serranilla, from Muntinlupa City – P2.5 million
- Rodel and Shirly Amesola, from Pili, Camarines Sur – P2 million each
- Solomon Hermosura, managing director of Ayala Corp – P2 million
- Celsa B. Rivera and Nonato P. Gonzales, who ran for local posts in Padre Garcia, Batangas in 2013 – P1 million each
- Wilbert T. Lee, president and CEO of LKY Development Corp. – P1 million
- Paul Vincent Chua, Vice President of Dataland Inc – P1 million
A total of P17.75 million – a fifth of the total contributions she received – came from 20 individuals from Camarines Sur, her home province.
Many lawyers and law firm partners also contributed to De Lima’s senatorial campaign. Among them are:
- 3 partners from the De Guzman San Diego Mejia & Hernandez (GSMH) Law Office
- 2 partners from the Zambrano and Gruba Law Offices
- Cynthia Corazon Roxas, a private prosecutor during the impeachment trial of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona
Three gave in-kind contributions:
- Gregorio Perez of Mandaluyong City, with a donation worth P250,000
- lawyer Jonathan Baligod of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, with P500,000 in in-kind contributions on top of P1 million in cash donations
- Aquinas Ranulph Hermida of Marikina City, with P128,693.19 in in-kind contributions on top of a P50,000 cash donation
Here’s a full list of contributors to De Lima’s senatorial campaign in the 2016 elections:
|Contributor||Total Amount (in pesos)||Notes|
– with research by Jodesz Gavilan/Rappler.com