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Those in drug matrix face graft charges

The government is preparing to file graft cases against politicians and other personalities implicated by President Duterte in his drug matrix if evidence warrants.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the Department of Justice has gathered testimonies from witnesses about the alleged involvement of certain individuals in the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.

“Let us take a cue from what DoJ said that several witnesses have come out to prove the allegations against certain personalities and they are in the process of taking affidavits of these particular witnesses, including NBP guards, inmates, and former friends of these personalities that have been referred to,” Abella said in a Palace press briefing.

“If and when they have been verified, the charges may have to deal with graft and drug-related graft once information is actually verified,” he added.

Abella said the drug-related graft case will be filed against the “leading personality in the matrix,” alluding to Sen. Leila M. de Lima.

President Duterte earlier released a drug matrix showing the alleged link of De Lima and six others in the narcotics trade inside the State penitentiary.

Others implicated in the matrix were Pangasinan Rep. Amado Espino Jr., former Bureau of Corrections chief Franklin Bucayu, former Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III, Pangasinan provincial administrator Raffy Baraan, De Lima’s former driver Ronnie Dayan, Pangasinan board member Raul Sison, and a certain “Ms. Cardenosa.”