MANILA – “The ambush is real, I am no liar.”
This was the statement of Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II on Monday over the reported ambush of the wife of a high-profile inmate in Makati City.
Aguirre claimed that Lalaine Madrigal-Martinez was ambushed early Friday morning along Polaris Street, Barangay Poblacion, Makati City.
But Makati City Police said that they did not receive any reports of an ambush within the city on Friday.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) presented photos on Monday of the supposed incident to prove that it was not fake.
When asked about the source of the photo, the DOJ said it came from the victim herself.
When asked who took photo of the victim as she was alighting her vehicle immediately after the incident or why the incident was not reported, the DOJ said the case is still under investigation.
As of posting, the vehicle is undergoing bullet trajectory investigation at DOJ.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is handling the investigation as per ordered by Secretary Aguirre.
“The claim of an ambush by Lalaine Madrigal-Martinez is a serious matter. As Justice Secretary, I take such report, especially by the supposed victim, seriously. I will be remiss in my duty if I did not take it seriously,” Aguirre said in a statement.
“We will come out with a statement after the NBI has finished with its ongoing investigation of the supposed ambush on Lalaine Madrigal-Martinez. I would rather be serious than lax in the discharge of my functions,” Aguirre said.
The victim’s husband, convicted drug lord Noel Martinez, who is currently detained at the military’s custodial center in Camp Aguinaldo along with other New Bilibid Prison inmates testified against Sen. Leila De Lima during the House of Representatives inquiry on the illegal drug trade at the national penitentiary during her term as justice secretary.
Earlier, Aguirre said Martinez told him about the bribe offer to high-profile inmates including his husband to recant their earlier testimonies against Senator Leila De Lima.
Aguirre named former Senator Jamby Madrigal and Laguna representative Marlyn “Len” Alonte-Naguiat behind the PHP100 million offer to high-profile inmates.
He said that high-profile inmates have turned down the offer.
Aguirre said the bribe try was made specifically to the eight inmates currently being held at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) custodial center in Camp Aguinaldo.