The SC said De Lima should wait for Duterte to end his tenure before she files the complaint. Photo
SC junks De Lima’s petition vs Duterte
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - January 23, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed a petition filed by Sen. Leila de Lima seeking to prevent President Duterte from gathering personal information about her.

In a 22-page decision released yesterday, the high tribunal dismissed De Lima’s petition, citing Duterte’s immunity from charges as a sitting president.

The SC said De Lima should wait for Duterte to end his tenure before she files the complaint. 

De Lima argued that her petition would not distract the Chief Executive since the case could be handled by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). 

The high court said De Lima’s argument contradicts her statement that the President’s attacks were purely personal.

It said the OSG represents public officials in cases that stem from acts committed in his official capacity.  

“If Sen. De Lima’s position that the acts complained of are not related to the official functions of the President, then it also follows that the OSG can no longer continue to represent him,” the SC said. 

De Lima claimed that her rights were violated as provided under the Magna Carta of Women and Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

Records showed that in 2016, De Lima delivered a privileged speech in the Senate calling for a stop to extrajudicial killings that resulted from the anti-illegal drug campaign.

In response, Duterte issued public statements alleging De Lima’s involvement in graft and corruption and immorality. 

This prompted the senator to file a petition for writ of habeas data, alleging her rights to privacy, life, liberty and security were violated.

She said Duterte is not entitled to immunity from suit as his actions and statements were made outside his official conduct and should not be considered official acts of the President. 

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