Three Liberal Party (LP) senators warned President Rodrigo Duterte and the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the possible arrest of their party-mate, Senator Leila de Lima. This is line with her alleged involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) when she was still the Justice secretary. Below is their official statement.
According to a joint statement by senators Franklin Drilon, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV this Sunday, February 12.the public should be aware that it is very likely possible that cases against Sen. De Lima, as well as an attempt to arrest her might only be a political tool or propaganda to distract the people from the real issue.
“We must be wary of the possibility that criminal cases are being used as political tool, propaganda, and smokescreen or distractions for the public. Filing charges and issuing warrants of arrest without credible evidence or witness is illegal and unjust –whether ordinary Filipino or senator.” A statement reads at KikoPangilinan.com that day.
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“The stabbing of potential witness Jaybee Sebastian also puts a serious cloud of doubt on the veracity of his testimony and those of other inmates made to testify who may all very well be fearful for their lives.” The statement added, referring to the incident last September 28 in the mess hall of Building 14 of NBP. The suspect was Tomas Doniña.
“We call on the Department of Justice to honor the rule of law and due process by supporting the Ombudsman’s investigation, as they should have when its fact-finding investigation commenced in November 2016.” The 3 LP senators said further, noting that that the cases vs De Lima is under the primary jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman.
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Credit: Kiko Pangilinan Facebook
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“We also call on the public to remain vigilant and to cultivate a discerning eye and a critical mind for truth and justice.” Drilon, Pangilinan and Aquino said on the last part of their warning message against President Duterte and the DOJ. As of posting, neither the president nor DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has commented on their statement.