Ombudsman will not probe De Lima's alleged links to drug trade

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Ombudsman on Monday said will not initiate its own investigation into Senator Leila De Lima and her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison.

"Lahat naman allegations itong mga ito eh. Wala pa namang lead talaga na that would prompt us to initiate our investigation," Morales told reporters on the sidelines of a forum. ("All these are allegations. There are really no leads that will prompt us to initiate our investigation.")

De Lima is facing allegations of having abetted the illegal drug trade during her term as Justice Secretary, and for having received payoffs and funding for her senatorial bid from high-profile inmates in Bilibid prison.

Two complaints against De Lima have been filed with the Department of Justice by the anti-crime watchdog Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption and by former subordinates of the senator from the National Bureau of Investigation.

The complaints charged De Lima for allegedly violating the Dangerous Drugs Act.

Another complaint against De Lima was filed last week by the police chief of the town of Albuera in the central Philippine island of Leyte with the regional office of the Ombudsman in Tacloban. Tacloban is capital of Leyte.

Morales said she will await the results of the investigation by the Ombudsman's regional office.

Also read: Duterte wants charges vs De Lima after drug probe

She added that the justice department under Vitaliano Aguirre should investigate the complaint through a fact-finding probe.

"If necessary, and if they believe that there is reason to conduct further investigation, or if we're asked to conduct preliminary investigation, then the case will come to us," Morales said.

The Office of the Ombudsman on its own may initiate its own investigation into an agency, official, or employee even without a lodged complaint.

The comments from Morales come as an alleged drug lord, Kerwin Espinosa, the son of the town mayor of Albuera, was arrested in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Espinosa is alleged by police officials to have given money to De Lima as payoff in the illegal drug trade, whose destruction has been the focus of President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign against drugs.

Watch: Aguirre: De Lima's drug money bigger than pork scam