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House to probe De Lima

Incoming House Speaker Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez has turned the tables on Sen. Leila M. de Lima by calling for a congressional inquiry into the alleged proliferation of drugs at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City while she was serving as the penitentiary’s head as Justice Secretary.

Alvarez, who is expected to win the speakership race on Monday, said he will soon file a resolution that would ask the appropriate House committee on conduct the probe that will include reports that convicted big time drug traffickers continued to run their illicit trade despite incarceration.

Earlier, De Lima filed a proposed resolution asking the Senate to inquire into the numerous drug-related killings that have victimized suspected drug pushers.

Formerly chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, De Lima is apparently suspicious that law enforcement men are behind the killings that have become frequent since President Duterte assumed the presidency.

Duterte had vowed to end the drug problem within six months of his presidency.

However, De Lima’s call probe was been tainted with politics as critics of the senator insisted that she does not want Duterte to succeed in his anti-drug campaign.

The former Justice Secretary has also been criticized for her alleged links to convicted bank robber and alleged drug trafficker Herbert Colangco.

Alvarez said no legislative advantage will be gained by De Lima’s call for probe into the drug killings. He pointed out that the Senate does not have any power to file charges against those involved in the killings.

Interviewed by reporters at the sidelights of a luncheon meeting of PDP-Laban congressmen in Makati City, the next House leader said an investigation into the unabated drug trafficking trade inside the NBP can have a better outcome in terms of proposing new legislation. (Ben R. Rosario)