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De Lima ally solons hit arrest during Edsa revolt anniversary

/ 02:51 PM February 24, 2017
Leila de Lima supporters

Supporters of Philippine opposition Sen. Leila de Lima display their messages as they picket the Philippine Senate where De Lima spent the night, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. De Lima was arrested Friday on drug charges but professed her innocence and vowed she would not be intimidated by a leader she called a “serial killer.” AP

Allies of Senator Leila De Lima at the House of Representatives on Friday lamented the arrest of the embattled senator in the middle of the country’s commemoration of the 1986 Edsa People Power uprising.

In a statement, vocal opposition lawmaker Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said De Lima’s arrest on Friday “is a stark contrast to the commemoration of the 31st anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution.”

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“While the EDSA Revolution is a celebration of freedom and justice, the arrest of de Lima is an anthology of vengeance, fabrication and injustice,” Lagman said.

READ: Robredo calls De Lima’s arrest ‘political harassment’

Lagman said the Muntinlupa city Regional Trial Court’s issuance of the warrant was “premature” because it has yet to decide on De Lima’s motion to quash based on the court’s lack of jurisdiction.

De Lima challenged the jurisdiction of the court, saying that it should be the Ombudsman and Sandiganbayan which should hear her cases for alleged drug trade and sale in the Bilibid when she was justice secretary as alleged by convicted criminals in the national penitentiary.

“Irrespective of whether or not the accused had been arrested, the court’s jurisdiction over the offense charged or the subject of the criminal action has been challenged, and perforce, the court must first resolve the issue of jurisdiction over the offense charged,” Lagman said.

For her part, Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao said De Lima’s fight is also the fight of those who participated in the 1986 People Power movement who believed in justice and democracy.

“Hindi ito laban ni Sen. Leila de Lima lang. Ito ay laban ng bawat mamamayan na pumunta sa EDSA nu’ng 1986. Ito ay laban ng lahat ng mga naniniwala sa diwa ng EDSA at sa diwa ng hustisya at demokrasya,” Bag-ao said.

(This is not the fight of Sen. Leila de Lima alone. This is also the fight of the citizens who went to Edsa in 1986. This is the fight of those who believe in the essence of Edsa and the essence of justice and democracy.)

Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said said De Lima’s arrest was the Duterte administration’s “blatant attempt to silence the opposition” and is a “clear victory of oppression and persecution” based on the testimonies of convicted criminals.

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Alejano said De Lima’s arrest was Duterte’s vengeance after she had investigated Duterte’s links to the Davao Death Squad (DDS) when he was Davao city mayor.

READ: De Lima hits back at ‘mastermind’ Duterte, ‘coddler’ Aguirre

De Lima had investigated the vigilante squad when she was chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

“More than a warning to critics, this is a vengeance to De Lima for investigating Duterte on the alleged existence of DDS in Davao way back when De Lima was still CHR Chairperson,” Alejano said in a text message to Inquirer.

Alejano said it seems like the country is going back to the dictatorship before the Edsa people power, which toppled the martial law regime of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

“The country is seemingly sliding back to dictatorship 31 years after EDSA 1,” Alejano said. IDL

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TAGS: Edcel Lagman, Gary Alejano, Kaka-Bag-ao, Leila de Lima, Liberal Party
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