Gov’t lawyer to represent complainants vs De Lima
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has offered to provide legal assistance to complainants against Senator Leila de Lima.
The OSG is the principal law defender of the Philippine government. Its head, the Solicitor General, determines the position of the government and participates in every case in which the government is a party. It also represents the People of the Philippines, its government, agencies, as well as government owned and controlled corporations when authorized by the President.
“However, under the law, the SolGen can also act and represent the people before any court, tribunal, body or commission in any matter, action or proceeding which in his opinion affects the welfare of the people as the ends of justice may require. Thus, the Solgen is also the tribune and protector of the people,” Solicitor General Jose Calida said Monday during the launching of the Coalition Against Illegal Drugs.
Calida said being a Senator, De Lima is very powerful.
“The complainants are private persons. In order to strengthen their resolve, I will lend the prestige and gravitas of my office,” Calida said.
There are four separate criminal complaints against De Lima and several others are up for preliminary investigation before the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The four drug complaints were filed by the crime watchdog group Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC); former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala; high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian; and the NBI.
De Lima asked the DOJ to inhibit from handling the cases against her.
Calida said De Lima has not only flaunted her disdain to be investigated by the House of Representatives and the DOJ but also made a mockery of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
“Senator De Lima should not be left to her own devious devices to the expense of the people. The high priestess of hypocrisy and patron saint of narco-politics must not be allowed to make a mockery of our justice system and get away with it,” Calida added. JE/rga
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