De Lima: Where’s interference in calls for my freedom? | Inquirer News

De Lima: Where’s interference in calls for my freedom?

/ 05:22 PM October 04, 2019

MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Leila de Lima, a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, continued to defend international calls for her release, saying they were not meant to interfere in judicial proceedings against her.

De Lima, currently detained for drug-related charges which she had described as trumped-up, was reacting to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr’s statement that US senators moving to block entry into the US by De Lima’s jailers was interference in Philippine judicial processes and governance.

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Locsin had said De Lima could not be acquitted even if US officials asked for it.

Locsin, said De Lima in a statement written from her cell at the Philippine National Police facility in PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, “asserts, quite correctly that I cannot be acquitted on mere request of the US Congress.”

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“We know that, of course,” De Lima said.

“But these US senators who proposed a visa ban against my oppressors are not, in any way, imposing their will on our courts,” she said.

Reports last Sept. 27 said the entry ban, an amendment to a bill introduced by US Senators Richard Durbin and Patrick Leahy, had been approved by the US Senate Appropriations Committee.

The move drew mixed reactions fron Philippine legislators, with Senate President Vicente Sotto III saying US senators were meddling without knowing details of De Lima’s case.

READ: US Senate bill seeks to ban PH officials involved in De Lima detention 

READ: Sotto: US senators meddling in PH affairs without knowing De Lima case 

In his speech before a United Nations (UN) General Assembly last Sunday, Sept. 27, Locsin said international bodies should not get involved in internal affairs of the Philippines—from the West Philippine Sea to the De Lima case. He also said De Lima should not be acquitted just because she is a senator.

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READ: Locsin: ‘UN is not free to interfere with the state’ 

De Lima, however, insisted that the possible — or the dim possibility of her — acquittal will never be allowed by President Rodrigo Duterte, whom she had accused of embarking on a political vendetta after she led an investigation of cases of extrajudicial killings allegedly involving Duterte.

“Why can’t you just be fortright and say this instead: that your President will never allow my acquittal. Remember his famous lines to me—you’re finished and you will rot in jail,” De Lima said, addressing herself to Locsin.

“Let that sink in. Tell me, would my acquittal be ever acceptable to a despotic and self-absorbed leader that he is? It would drive him more into madness,” she added./TSB

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TAGS: Philippine news updates, Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Senate, Senator Leila de Lima, United Nations (UN), United States Senate, visa ban
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