Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) legal counsel Ferdinand Topacio earned the ire of Senator Leila de Lima during the Senate hearing on death penalty proposals Tuesday, after she was alluded to as a drug trafficker.
As he argued the need to reimpose capital punishment, Topacio said some drug offenders are “beyond rehabilitation.” He cited, for instance, drug traders who deal behind bars.
“They are still capable of dealing in drugs which is why the VACC, the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), and other agencies filed cases for drug trafficking against Senator De Lima and other persons,” Topacio said.
“Now, whether these charges are proven true or not, we do not know. But the fact remains that these pushers have admitted before a congressional inquiry that they still deal in drugs, therefore the rehabilitative element is not accomplished,” he added.
Topacio was referring to the House of Representatives’ probe on the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), where several drug offenders tagged De Lima as involved in drug trade.
De Lima then took the floor, saying “Atty. Topacio, while not in very expressed terms, just called me a drug trafficker. I want him to take that back!”
Topacio argued that he stressed that the complaints were mere allegations.
“Of all people, why only single out only Senator Leila de Lima? I am not a drug trafficker! Bakit hindi mo pangalanan mga tunay na drug trafficker? Ako lang kinakasuhan ninyo!”
The hearing was briefly suspended before it resumed discussion on death penalty bills.
Source: GMA News