Senate won't interfere in drug cases vs De Lima, Lacson says | Inquirer News

Senate won’t interfere in drug cases vs De Lima, Lacson says

/ 03:55 PM September 01, 2017

Senator Ping Lacson. ALEXIS CORPUZ/ INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

No way.

Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Friday maintained that the Senate cannot interfere with the courts deciding on Senator Leila de Lima’s case.

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“No way. We should all understand and respect our criminal justice system. The Senate cannot and will not interfere with the courts that have jurisdiction over Sen. De Lima’s drug case,” Lacson said in a statement.

“They have no business in arrogantly asking our president to release Sen. de Lima. That’s totally uncalled for,” Lacson said.

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READ: Trillanes urges senators: Do the right thing, demand for De Lima’s release

“Having said that, the judiciary is independent of the executive and legislative branches. The same goes true, and even worse, in the case of foreign organizations and groups that are calling for her immediate release,” he said.

Several groups and individuals, including Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, were calling for the immediate release of the former Justice secretary, who they said was detained on trumped up drug charges.

Last Wednesday, Trillanes urged his colleagues in a privilege speech to join him in demanding for De Lima to be freed from detention.

Trillanes particularly called on Lacson’s public order committee to investigate the drug convicts who falsely testified against De Lima’s alleged involvement in the illegal drug business.

Also on Thursday, three women representatives of liberal and democratic parties in Asia paid De Lima a visit at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center.

Council for Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) women’s caucus chair Jayanthi Balaguru, along with Emily Lau of Hong Kong and Maysing Huang Yang of Taiwan were urging President Rodrigo Duterte to release De Lima from detention.

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Trillanes, who, like De Lima, is a staunch critic of President Duterte, urged the senators to “do the right thing” and defend their colleague from the “injustices” under the current administration.

“I know Senator De Lima may have offended some of you, personally, during her tenure as Secretary of Justice. I had my own run-ins with her when she opposed our amnesty then. Quite ironic because here I am now, standing by her; standing for her; fighting for her,” Trillanes said.

“Ganito rin ako makipaglaban para sa iba sa inyo noong nakaraan. Ganito tayo dapat sa isa’t isa, lalo na kung para sa tama. Six months na siyang nakakulong, mabigat na parusa ‘yan sa para isang taong walang pagkakasala,” he said.

(I fought the same way for some of you before. We should be like this to each other, especially when we are on the side of the truth. She has been in jail for six months already—that’s a grave punishment for an innocent person.)

Trillanes said all senators “know deep in (their) hearts” that the former Justice secretary was not into the drug trade.

If the senators had been vocal against the administration’s freeing of Supt. Marvin Marcos and his men for committing murder, much more that they should be outraged by the oppression against De Lima, he said. IDL

READ: Senators slam return of Marcos to PNP

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TAGS: Antonio Trillanes, Leila de Lima, Ping Lacson, Political Persecution, Politics
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