Former Justice secretary and now Senator Leila de Lima has broken her silence amid a viral video featuring her and a supposed drug lord having fun together at an event in Manila last year.
De Lima clarified that the video was taken during her birthday party and the man sitting beside her was not high-profile New Bilibid Prison (NBP) inmate Herbert Colangco.
“What was claimed to be Colangco was really [Quezon City] Cong. Alfred Vargas, who was one of the guests,” she told GMA News.
Vargas also confirmed that he was indeed the man mistakenly identified by the video voiceover as Colangco.
Colangco and Vargas share similar hairstyles and the signature shades the lawmaker wore that time made him look like the convict known for sporting Aviator sunglasses in his controversial music videos.
Vargas explained his wearing of shades and literal rubbing of elbows with De Lima instead of shaking her hand was due to a bout of sore eyes.
De Lima's office also discredited another photo of her supposedly singing in a birthday party of a drug lord.
According to the Inquirer, her staff said the photo was taken during the concert party of Zaldy Aquino at Zirkoh last December 28.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier named Colangco as among the alleged big time drug lords running the illegal drug industry in the country.
For her part, De Lima—then in charge of the national penitentiary—was primarily responsible for disrupting the illegal activities of alleged drug lords inside the NBP during the previous administration.
Cover photo via Philstar