Palace: De Lima getting fair public trial
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the camp of US Sen. Patrick Leahy seems to be unaware of the Philippine justice system.
Leila de Lima/Facebook, File

Palace: De Lima getting fair public trial

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - October 3, 2019 - 6:33pm

MANILA, Philippines — Detained Sen. Leila de Lima is getting a “fair public trial as due process requires,” Malacañang asserted on Thursday.

This came after calls from US Sen. Patrick Leahy to grant De Lima a fair public trial for her to defend herself against allegations against her. The US Senate appropriations committee also approved an amendment to prohibit the entry into the country of any Filipino official involved in De Lima's incarceration. 

A spokesperson of Leahy said in an email to ABS-CBN News that rather than respond to "personal attacks" made by President Rodrigo Duterte's mouthpiece, Salvador Panelo, they would just refer him to the latest human rights report of the US State Department on the Philippines.

Panelo, however, responded that the camp of the US senator seems to be unaware of the Philippines' justice system.

“[He] simply does not get it. The good senator from Vermont, through his spokesperson David Carle, is showing more ignorance and uttering amusing nonsense on a subject matter based on bogus narratives coming from President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's vocal and noisy critics and detractors,” Panelo said of Leahy in a statement.

“For the sound legal education of Senator Leahy, this representation did not say that the government, or the administration for that matter, has strong evidence. That is for the court to decide,” Panelo said.

“This Senator Leahy's retort only validates his sheer ignorance on our country's substantive and procedural rules,” he added.

US Senator Dick Durbin also called for De Lima's release last September 26 in a post on his personal Twitter account. He slammed the senator's imprisonment as "politically motivated."

Duterte's camp on the same day was quick to pan the calls as "meddling," pointing to Leahy's unawareness of the Philippine justice system.

De Lima was jailed in 2017 over alleged drug charges filed by the Department of Justice. She is one of the president's fiercest critics.

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