Should De Lima be tried or released? 3 prexy bets weigh in
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila de Lima, who has been detained on drug charges since February 2017, should be allowed to exercise her right to defend herself in court, according to Sen. Manny Pacquiao and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.
But labor leader Leody de Guzman insists that the senator, a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, should be freed.
The three presidential candidates shared their views on the issue on Sunday during the second debate organized by the Commission on Elections.
“Sen. Leila de Lima deserves to have a day in court and exercise her right,” Moreno said, speaking in a mix of English and Filipino.
“Sen. Leila de Lima should be able to use all means to defend herself. And I guarantee you, Sen. Leila de Lima, under my watch, she will have it,” he added.
Pacquiao had the same idea, saying: “It will be difficult if we do not let it go through due process. It’s like we’re not respecting our Constitution.”
“Let’s speed up the trial so that she could be free if she did nothing wrong. If she did something wrong, well, she would be sentenced. That’s what we need — due process,” he added.
For his part, De Guzman said De Lima should be freed as he believed she was a victim of Duterte’s style of scaring and maligning dissidents.
“Senator De Lima must be released. Her imprisonment was due to Duterte’s vengeance because of her investigation in Davao. And that is a characteristic of our president today — that when he is criticized, he imprisons or maligns them,” De Guzman said.
He was referring to the probe of the so-called Davao Death Squad that De Lima started in 2009 when she was still the chair of the Commission on Human Rights.
De Lima is running for reelection.
De Lima on death squad probe: ‘Davao under spell of ruthless king’
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