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De Lima: SC’s decision legitimizes political persecution

The Philippine Star
De Lima: SCâs decision legitimizes political persecution

Detained Sen. Leila de Lima noted the Supreme Court’s majority decision shows the extent to which “Dutertism has distorted reason, suppressed the truth and rejected the primacy of conscience.” Those who voted to junk the petition were all appointees of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and President Rodrigo Duterte. STAR/Geremy Pintolo, File

MANILA, Philippines — Detained Sen. Leila de Lima on Wednesday said the decision of the Supreme Court to junk the petition challenging the legality of her case “legitimizes oppression and political persecution.”

Voting 9-6, the Supreme Court dismissed De Lima's petition seeking the nullification of her arrest and a halt order on the criminal proceedings against her at the Muntinlupa Trial Court.

The senator said she is saddened and pained by the High Court’s decision to dismiss her 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.

READSC votes 9-6 to junk De Lima petition to nullify her arrest

She noted the SC’s majority decision shows the extent to which “Dutertism has distorted reason, suppressed the truth and rejected the primacy of conscience.”

Those who voted to junk the petition were: Associate Justices Teresita De Castro, Disodado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano Del Castillo, Samuel Martires, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes and Alexander Gesmundo—all appointees of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and President Rodrigo Duterte.

De Lima, meanwhile, thanked the magistrates who dissented—Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Associate Justices Alfred Benjamin Caguioa, Estela Bernabe and Marvic Leonen.

Her camp will file a motion for reconsideration.

“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,” De Lima said.

She added: “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 was accused of protecting and coddling drug traders inside the New Bilibid Prision during her stint as Justice secretary.

De Lima, who has repeatedly denied the charges, is facing three counts of violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. 

She is currently detained at the police headquarters in Camp Crame.

Last year, Duterte vowed to “destroy” De Lima, who had ordered a Senate probe into the killings related to the government’s “war on drugs.”

He also said De Lima “will rot in jail” for accepting bribes from drug lords and allowing the proliferation of narcotics at the Bureau of Corrections.

READDe Lima to Duterte: You know why I should be released

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