MANILA, June 4 (Mabuhay) – Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Wednesday accused Justice Secretary Leila de Lima of receiving a P1-million monthly allowance during her stint as chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) under the Arroyo administration.
During De Lima’s confirmation hearing before the Commission on Appointments (CA), Estrada said he received information from a former Palace employee, who is now deceased, that De Lima got the additional funds from then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself.
The supposed allowance for De Lima, who served as CHR chief from 2008 to 2010, was sourced from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), the senator claimed.
“Is it true that Mrs. Arroyo gave you P1 million in additional allowance?” Estrada asked De Lima during the hearing.
De Lima categorically denied Estrada’s accusation, but said the CHR received up to P500,000 in “confidential funds” quarterly during the Arroyo administration.
“There is a confidential fund to the CHR, but it is not additional allowance,” De Lima said.
After hearing this, Estrada said, “I do not believe that.”
Estrada is facing plunder charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.
One of the complaints that led to Estrada’s plunder charges was initiated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which is under De Lima’s supervision. (MNS)