Guevarra: It’s normal for prosecutor general to oversee cases vs De Lima
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday said it is normal for the Prosecutor General (PG) to supervise prosecutors handling a particular case such as the drug cases against detained opposition Senator Leila De Lima.
Guevarra made the statement as he confirmed issuing a Department Order dated October 4, 2019, designating Prosecutor General Benedicto A. Malcontento as supervising head of the Trial Team and the Trial Support and Administrative Team of prosecutors.
The trial team is composed of 11 members with a provincial prosecutor as head while the trial support and administrative team is composed of four members with a Senior Assistant City Prosecutor as head. The administrative support staff of the teams will consist of three members.
Supporters of De Lima, a fierce critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, said the move is “unprecedented” as it shows “the full force of the government and its resources against one detained senator.”
But Guevarra said “there’s nothing significant at all about this purely administrative matter that has been brought to my attention more than a month ago.”
“The team has been quite big since the beginning as the prosecutors have to deal with three different cases with different sets of accused in three different courts, not to mention that they have to confer with some witnesses who are in prison,” he further explained.
“The PG is there only to enhance coordination. Absolutely nothing to do with US senators nor with so-called ninja cops,” Guevarra added. /kga
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
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.