De Lima questions PAO assistance extended to house probe witnesses

Sen. Leila De Lima has raised the concerns on possible reasons why the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) is assisting drug lords who appear before the hearing of the House of Representatives.

Senator Leila De Lima and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre face each other today at the Senate Hearing on the proposed budget on the Department of Justice for the next year. Senator De Lima on a separate interview says that DOJ as an institution has been used to serve specific interest meant to turnish her reputation.

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Senator De Lima says “The institution is being used for their objective to destroy me. Of course notwithstanding that I still love my former family.”

DOJ Secretary Aguirre says “I would like to assure the good senator former DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima that we will not be using the office of the DOJ to persecute anybody.”

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Though Senator De Lima is emotional because of issues hurdled against her by Aguirre, she promised during the start of the hearing that she will be professional in facing the DOJ which she regard as her former family. She says she supports all amendments which will seek to increase the DOJ budget.

DOJ Secretary Aguirre says “We would like to thank the good senator for the support she has express to be I would say not for my family, to her family the DOJ.”

Meanwhile, Senator De Lima during the hearing earlier raised concern over the assistance provided by the Public Attorneys Officer (PAO) to drug lords testified against her during the house probe.

Senator De Lima says “Isn’t it anomalous for PAO lawyers to represent prospective or potential government witnesses who will become or most probably become prosecution witnesses later.”

Secretary Aguirre explains PAO was there only to administer the oath taking of witnesses. PAO Acosta adds they extend assistance to those who indigent and don’t have income to pay private lawyers.

Also read Senator De Lima stands firm she has never involved in the accusation against her