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De Lima’s co-accused arrested

 

JOSE Adrian Dera, a co-accused of detained Senator Leila de Lima in illegal drug charges, is brought to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) headquarters in Manila after his arrest Friday in Angeles City, Pampanga. (Ali Vicoy)

JOSE Adrian Dera, a co-accused of detained Senator Leila de Lima in illegal drug charges, is brought to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) headquarters in Manila after his arrest Friday in Angeles City, Pampanga. (Ali Vicoy)

A co-accused of detained Senator Leila de Lima was apprehended Friday morning by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents almost two years after an arrest warrant was issued against him.

NBI spokesman and Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin confirmed that Jose Adrian Dera was nabbed based on the arrest order issued by the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC).

Lavin stated that “our Special Task Force under Chief [Gerald] Geralde arrested this morning in Angeles, Pampanga, by virtue of Arrest Warrant issued by Muntinlupa RTC.”

Dera is De Lima’s co-accused in one of three charges she is facing before the Muntinlupa RTC in connection with her alleged involvement in the illegal drugs trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

The RTC issued the warrants in November 2017 which led to the arrest of De Lima and several of her co-accused.

However, Dera went on hiding and has not participated in the court proceedings since then.

The NBI admitted that it did not recommend to the Department of Justice (DoJ) the filing of charges against Dera, the alleged bagman of De Lima.

NBI Deputy Director Vicente de Guzman recounted that he was part of the team which conducted the investigation on the allegations against De Lima regarding the narcotics issue.

However, De Guzman disclosed that the NBI did not recommend indicting Dera when a complaint was filed for preliminary investigation.

“We charged 18 personalities in that investigation and, as per our record, we did not charge the accused (Dera) now,” De Guzman said.

“Wala kaming makitang involvement niya,” he added.

However, during the conduct of the preliminary investigation,DoJ’s National Prosecution Service (NPS) determined Dera should also be charged in court based on the statement of drug lord and Bilibid inmate Peter Co.

“Sinabi ni Peter Co nagbigay siya ng dalawang beses ng 5 milyon kay Jad (Dera) for the candidacy of now Senator De Lima (Peter Co said he gave P5 million twice to Dera for the candidacy of De Lima),” De Guzman cited.

Among De Lima’s co-accused, Dera is the only one who was not detained since the RTC issued arrest warrants on November 2017.

Meanwhile, lawyer Raymond Palad, Dera’s legal counsel, told reporters that the accused is an asset of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and even showed a document showing of this agreement.

“We have the papers submitted sa DoJ and NBI confirming that fact na agent siya, may agreement at may oath of loyalty to comply with his duties sa organization ng PNP,” the lawyer said.

Palad also denied Co’s allegations that Dera received money on behalf of De Lima.

“Hindi si Peter Co ang nagbigay ng pera sa kanya. The money was taken from a casino, I think Resort World. Tapos ‘yan ang pinangtubos nila sa kamag-anak ni Peter Co na hinuli ng pulis,” Palad said.

Since her arrest, De Lima has been detained at the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Recently, De Lima was permitted by the RTC to visit her ailing mother in Iriga City, Camarines Sur. (Jeffrey Damicog)

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