De Lima hoped SC justices ‘feel pain of innocent person in jail’
The Supreme Court decision junking detained Senator Leila de Lima’s appeal to recall her arrest warrant only legitimizes the Duterte administration’s “oppression and political persecution,” De Lima said on Wednesday.
After the SC judges votes 9-6 against nullifying her arrest, De Lima said she hoped that the justices would feel the pain of someone innocent of any crime but was jailed out of vengeance.
“I am deeply saddened and pained by the Supreme Court decision dismissing my petition. I had hoped that the justices who decided against my petition can feel the pain of someone who is sent to prison and yet is innocent of any crime, and has merely fallen victim to the strong arm of the State and the President’s deeply-rooted vengeance against her,” De Lima said in a statement sent from her detention at Camp Crame.
“The SC’s majority decision tells us the extent to which Dutertism has distorted reason, suppressed the truth and rejected the primacy of conscience. The decision legitimizes oppression and political persecution,” she said.
The former Justice secretary, however, thanked the six justices who dissented from the majority decision.
Those who voted to grant De Lima’s plea were Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Marvic Leonen, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Francis Jardeleza and Benjamin Caguioa.
Apart from Carpio, the five other justices were appointees of former president Benigno Aquino III. Carpio, who was appointed by then-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, worked with De Lima on the Philippine’s arbitral protest against China on the West Philippine Sea.
“I take heart though in the thought that six dissenters – all venerable magistrates – stood their ground. I honor them with a profound thanks and admiration for their courage and fealty to their sworn duty,” she said.
The senator, who is a fierce critic of President Duterte, will continue to appeal her release from detention.
“My lawyers will of course file a motion for reconsideration, and will continue to appeal to the sense of fairness and justice of the Court,” she said.
“There is no other recourse but to go on fighting, especially when one is innocent as I truly am. Every day spent behind bars on bogus charges brings pain and untold sufferings. But it also strengthens resolve,” she added.
“Every single moment in prison serves as a reminder to me of the injustice being committed on thousands of others out there who are not only deprived of their liberty, but of their very right to exist. To go on fighting is the least I can do for them and their loved ones,” De Lima said.
The lady senator was put behind bars at the height of her criticism against Duterte’s bloody drug war. She is accused of conniving with drug lords who operated from inside the New Bilibid Prisons during her term as Justice secretary.
De Lima allegedly collected drug money from the imprisoned drug lords and used the money for her senatorial campaign.
“On a more personal reflection, I say this in all candor – While I deeply yearn for it from day one of my most unjust detention, I have no illusion about attaining vindication for as long as my persecutors remain in power,” she added. /cbb
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