De Lima slams Guevarra: Don’t be a maggot of a rotting administration
MANILA, Philippines – Detained Sen. Leila de Lima on Friday turned the tables on Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra for saying the United States senators who called for her release were misinformed.
De Lima said Guevarra’s remarks were “absurd.”
“Sec. Guevarra might have been hiding under a rock for a good part in the early months of this administration to be unaware of the daily character assassination, slut-shaming, and trial by publicity that (President Rodrigo) Duterte and his officials subjected me to, but definitely the U.S. Senators were not,” she said in his latest dispatch from her detention cell at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Guevarra said the five U.S. senators who filed the resolution calling for the release of De Lima “have obviously been fed with wrong information.”
De Lima, one of the staunchest critics of President Rodrigo Duterte, has been detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame for alleged drug charges.
“These senators (U.S.) know, while Guevarra apparently did not, that the whole government machinery, first and foremost the House of Representatives and the DOJ (Department of Justice), was mobilized by his boss to malign my reputation and fabricate criminal charges against me on the basis of the statements of convicted criminals and other perjured witnesses,” De Lima said.
“I am sure that the U.S. senators are better informed than him about my cases, if he has at all even bothered to familiarize himself with the cases his department has filed against me,” she added.
Guevarra, she said, “has continued the legal persecution started by his infamous predecessor by maintaining the criminal convicts as state witnesses against me, even if they are disqualified by law.”
“No self-respecting DOJ Secretary would allow criminal convicts to be under the DOJ’s Witness Protection Program as state witnesses. The fact that Guevarra did, means that he either has not familiarized himself with my cases, or that he himself has chosen to take part in my persecution by continuing the trial of my cases despite the clear violation of the WPP Law on the use of disqualified criminal convicts as state witnesses,” she said.
The opposition senator said that the move of the DOJ to railroad the cases against her instead of filing charges against the “disqualified drug convicts” used as state witness on her drug case and “the filing of a patently defective information are palpable proofs of the targeted legal persecution of dissenters under the Duterte administration.”
“These are the facts that the U.S. senators are aware of, and thus prompted them to file the US Senate Resolution, facts that Guevarra refuses to acknowledge,” she said.
“To say that these U.S. lawmakers were “fed with wrong information,” De Lima said, was “an insult to them who, like many other foreign dignitaries and international organizations and institutions who similarly called out the Philippine government for its human rights abuses and its political persecution against me, have certainly the wherewithal and the network to be able to verify any information that come their way.”
“They are neither pushovers nor lacking in intelligence or discernment. Quite the contrary,” she said.
“It is high time Guevarra comes out of the rock he is hiding under, lest he becomes just another one of the maggots of a rotting administration, a legacy he certainly would not wish upon himself,” she added.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo had earlier slammed the U.S. senators, saying they should mind their own business. /muf
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