Robredo: No more reason for De Lima to remain in detention | Inquirer News

Robredo: No more reason for De Lima to remain in detention

/ 04:58 PM May 02, 2022
There is no more reason for Senator Leila de Lima to remain detained after two key witnesses in the drug-related cases have admitted being forced to testify against the lawmaker, Vice President Leni Robredo said on Monday.

Vice President Leni Robredo delivers a statement to reporters at a news briefing at the Office of the Vice President in Quezon City, December 16, 2019.
INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — There is no more reason for Senator Leila de Lima to remain detained after two key witnesses in the drug-related cases have admitted being forced to testify against the lawmaker, Vice President Leni Robredo said on Monday.

In a statement, Robredo said that De Lima should be freed immediately, as it appears the cases against the latter have no basis after self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos admitted being forced to speak against the senator.

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“Wala nang dahilan para manatili sa piitan si Sen Leila. Dapat na siyang palayain sa lalong madaling panahon. Kaisa ko ang bawat Pilipinong naniniwala sa hustisya sa panawagan: Free Leila now,” Robredo said.

(There is no more reason for Sen. Leila to remain in jail. She should be freed immediately. I am one with fellow Filipinos asking for justice: Free Leila now.)

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According to Robredo, the lack of documentary evidence or even physical evidence like any illegal drug substance, coupled with Espinosa and Ragos’ recent admissions, should be enough to prove that the case against De Lima is baseless.

“Mahigit limang taon nang nakakulong si Senator Leila de Lima, pero kahit isang gramo ng ilegal na droga, kahit isang pahina ng documentary evidence, walang naihain laban sa kanya. Ngayon, pati ang mga testimonyang ginamit na batayan ng pagpapakulong kay Sen. Leila ay isa-isa nang binabawi ng mga nagbigay nito,” Robredo said.

(More than five years Senator Leila de Lima is detained, but not a gram of drugs, a page of documentary evidence, nothing had been submitted to justify her detention. Now, the testimonies used to put her in jail are being recanted by the same people who issued them.)

“Patunay lang ito ng katotohanang matagal ko nang iginigiit: Walang kaso laban kay Sen Leila de Lima. Ang tanging kasalanan niya ay ang magsabi ng totoo at ipagtanggol ang karapatan ng mga kapwa natin Pilipino,” she added.

(This is proof of the truth that I have been insisting: There is no case against Sen. Leila de Lima. The only sin she had done was to tell the truth and defend the rights of our fellow Filipinos.)

Last April 28, Espinosa through his legal counsel apologized to de Lima, saying that any statement he made against the senator was not true, and was just done because he and his family were threatened by the police.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos vowed to look into Espinosa’s claims.

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READ: Kerwin Espinosa recants drug trade accusations vs Sen. Leila de Lima 

Then earlier, Ragos said that he was just coerced by former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre into making statements against de Lima.

READ: Another witness retracts accusations vs De Lima, says he was ‘coerced’ 

De Lima has been detained for five years after she was suspected of allowing illegal drugs to proliferate inside the New Bilibid Prison — an attached agency of the Department of Justice, like BuCor.

The senator used to be the Justice secretary in the Aquino administration.

Administration officials including no less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself claimed that De Lima should be jailed for her alleged participation, but the senator, however, claimed it was just a case of political vendetta because she led investigations on Duterte’s drug war in the Senate, and probes on human rights violations when the President was still Davao City mayor.

READ: Duterte: ‘Bitch’ De Lima made world believe she’s prisoner of conscience 

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TAGS: #2022candidates, 2022 national elections, drug-related charges, Kerwin Espinosa, Leni Robredo, Phil‎ippine National Police, Rafael Ragos, Senator Leila de Lima
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