De Lima marks People Power: Don’t let gov’t assault democracy
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila de Lima asks the public not to allow President Rodrigo Duterte’s tyranny to attack democracy as the Philippines commemorates the 33rd anniversary of the historic Edsa People Power revolution.
“As we commemorate the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, we cannot allow this tyrant to further assault and erode our democracy,” De Lima said in a dispatch from Camp Crame in Quezon City on Saturday.
De Lima then said the Duterte administration has denied its role on silencing its critics such as Rappler’s Maria Ressa who was arrested on a cyberlibel charge.
“Malacañang has acquired the habit of denying that it is behind the persecution of critics and opponents of the Duterte regime,” De Lima said.
“Most recently, Malacañang has denied that it has anything to do with the criminal charges filed against Rappler executive Maria Ressa, the latest being a cyberlibel charge which resulted in the spectacle of her arrest,” she said.
The senator also noted that the cases of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who are Duterte’s staunch critics, also lacked factual basis.
“Under normal times and a normal president, all of the cases brought against these personalities would have been readily dismissed for sheer lack of legal and factual basis. The quo warranto case against CJ Sereno would have been dismissed outright for being unconstitutional,” she said.
“The coup d’etat and rebellion charges against Sen. Trillanes would not have been revived because of double jeopardy, aside from the sheer absurdity of the revocation of an amnesty due to a missing application form,” she added.
These cases showed Duterte’s “perverted rule of law” which influenced the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), De Lima noted.
“In all of these cases, Duterte has perverted the rule of law by ordering the DOJ and OSG, and influencing, if not intimidating, the courts to do his bidding,” she said. /jpv
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