4 fearless judges give hope to cause of justice – De Lima
Detained Sen. Leila de Lima on Wednesday underscored the importance of an independent judiciary as she hailed four fearless judges whom the Inquirer had named Filipinos of the Year, saying they give hope to the cause of justice.
In a statement from her detention cell at Camp Crame in Quezon City, De Lima commended the judges and said their recognition was timely.
“They prove that in the midst of darkness and horror under the current situation and leadership, there remains a sliver of hope from those who remain free and brave instruments of justice,” De Lima said.
Warning to the abusive
“They also serve as a warning to the abusive and the oppressive. They are inspirations to the the other decent members of government,” she added.
The Inquirer on Sunday gave its annual honor to Regional Trial Court Judges Rodolfo Azucena Jr. of Caloocan City, Arlene Lirag Palabrica of Tagum City, Alexander Tamayo of Malolos City, and Andres Soriano of Makati City.
Azucena last year convicted three police officers of murdering 17-year-old Kian delos Santos in an antidrug operation, while Palabrica ordered the release of activists whom the military arrested for bringing food to and rescuing “lumad” students.
Tamayo convicted retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan for the kidnapping and serious illegal detention of two University of the Philippines students, while Soriano rejected the Department of Justice’s plea to reopen the coup d’état case of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV after the President voided his amnesty.
De Lima said the four judges upheld judicial independence.
“No society can call itself truly just and free without an independent judiciary,” she said. “And, an independent judiciary rests largely on the integrity, competence and uprightness of its judges.”
According to De Lima, judicial independence was needed for the rule of law and was a crucial component of constitutional democracy.
De Lima is detained on what she calls trumped-up drug trafficking charges that she says are retaliation for her investigation of the killings under the watch of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.