Marcos Jr. says using his legal clout to free De Lima is interference
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. believes using his legal powers as the country’s chief executive in the case of former senator Leila de Lima would be “interfering.”
Marcos was responding to the calls of opposition lawmakers for him to use his legal power to free De Lima by ordering the prosecutor to dismiss the charges against her after the hostage-taking incident inside the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center at Camp Crame.
“I think urging prosecutors to do one thing or another is interfering. So, that’s why I have said we are very very clear that we have three departments of government at siguro naman, pabayan natin, hindi naman natin pinagduduhanan ang process eh,” he told reporters in a chance interview on Friday.
(Let’s just let them be. We do not doubt the process.)
“I think the process is there. We are continuing to monitor what is going on,” the President added.
READ: Lawmakers urge PNP to probe hostage-taking of De Lima
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman earlier said the President would not intrude into the courts’ domain if he ordered prosecutors to move for the dismissal of criminal cases where inculpatory evidence is lacking.
READ: Lagman to Marcos: Use power to free De Lima
READ: Call for de Lima’s release mounts online after foiled hostage attempt
READ: Hostage-taking leaves questions about De Lima’s safety
Marcos said he asked De Lima if she wanted to be transferred to another facility but he said De Lima declined the offer.
“I wanted to ask her if she feels safe because if she doesn’t feel safe sabi ko sa kanya ililipat ka namin, and she said sabi naman niya hindi naman siguro kailangan (I told her we can have her transferred but she sees no need to do it),” the President said.
(I wanted to ask her if she feels safe because I will ask for her transfer to another facility if she doesn’t feel safe. But she said she does not see the need for it.)
“So she never asked me to do anything, ‘yan lang ‘yung tweet niya, what she tweeted yesterday that’s the extent of it, that’s the extent of our discussion with the former senator,” he added.
De Lima was held hostage inside her room at the PNP Custodial Center last Sunday by inmate Feliciano Sulayao Jr. The former senator was declared safe after police officers gunned down her hostage-taker.
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.