Palace: De Lima arrested for criminal, not political, case
Malacañang on Friday dismissed claims that the arrest of Sen. Leila de Lima was political persecution.
“It’s a criminal case filed against her. It’s not a political case which was filed against her,” Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea told reporters in a chance interview in Malacañang.
Asked why de Lima called herself a political prisoner, Medialdea said it was only for “soundbites.”
In a television interview, presidential chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo countered the senator’s claim that she was a political prisoner.
“She is not a political prisoner,” Panelo said. “She will become a detainee pursuant to a warrant of arrest arising from a criminal charge against her.”
“She was given the opportunity to submit whatever defense she had or she has but she did not,” he added. “So natural, iyong hukuman will determine probable cause on the basis of the evidence on record. Eh iyon lang ebidensya na nasa record ay mga testimonya laban sa kanya. Siya wala. So, madali lang i-resolve ang existence ng probable cause.”
(“So naturally, the court will determine probable cause on the basis of the evidence on record. The only pieces of evidence on record were the testimonies against her. She doesn’t have any. So, it was easy to resolve the existence of probably cause.”)
Panelo said what the former administration of President Benigno Aquino III did to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was the real case of “political vendetta.”
“Iyong ginawa nila kay Arroyo, iyon ang political vendetta kasi walang kasong inihain laban sa kanya. Iyon ang tunay na political vendetta,” he said.
(“What they did to Arroyo, now that’s political vendetta because no case was filed against her. That really was political vendetta.”)
De Lima was arrested on Friday morning following the issuance of warrant by the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) on her alleged involvement into the illegal drug trade. /atm
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