Press Release
January 3, 2020

Dispatch from Crame No. 693:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's Statement on Panelo's and Guevarra's Defense of My Persecution


Presidential Spokesperson Panelo and DOJ Secretary Guevarra insist that the government is observing due process in my case and that my trial follows the regular judicial process. This is a lie.

Due process in form only, i.e., a sham trial rooted in a patently bogus charge, is NO due process.

Duterte himself targeted me for attack and imprisonment even before any case against me was investigated by any legitimate law enforcement agency. As early as July 2016, former SOJ Aguirre together with SOLGEN Calida, PAO Chief Acosta, Sandra Cam, Ferdinand Topacio, and a host of DDS wannabes from the PNP already started approaching and pressuring Bilibid convicts to solicit testimonies against me.

This was followed by a public slut-shaming extravaganza that only Duterte has the character to perform, digging into my personal life and stripping me of my dignity, as he used the presidential podium to carry out his all-out war against me. This was complemented by his social media propaganda agents Mocha Uson, Sass Rogando Sasot, RJ Nieto, etc. and media personalities like the Tulfo Brothers.

All the evidence of course was invented. In fact, former CIDG Chief (now Mayor) Benjamin Magalong himself testified that the CIDG itself had no information whatsoever that I was ever involved in the drug trade. There was no such allegations, from any other law enforcement or intel agency or from anyone, for that matter, before Duterte took power.

It is only under Duterte that the case against me was fabricated, publicly tried in the kangaroo court of the House Justice Committee led by former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, then Majority Leader Rudy Farinas, then Committee Chairman Rey Umali, and railroaded by the DOJ Panel of Prosecutors under Aguirre's direction.

Duterte himself, in so many occasions, has already declared me guilty even before any official investigation or formal trial started. This is not only a case of pre-judgment, but a case of outright persecution where none other than the powerful President is my accuser, prosecutor, judge and executioner.

Malacañang also keeps on harping the Supreme Court decision in De Lima v. Guerrero, et al. which upheld my arrest and detention. However, in that case, not even the majority of the Supreme Court agreed on the nature of the charges filed against me. Some said it was illegal drug trading, others opined it was conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading, one justice said it was both.

This is not possible, because an Information can only charge one offense, not two. As such, a summary of the votes of the majority reveals that the Information against me was patently void for failure to specify the nature of the offense I was being charged with, as even the majority justices cannot agree among themselves what offense I was being charged with. And yet they still upheld my arrest and detention.

The SC decision is not a unanimous decision. Six justices dissented, with former Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio calling the case against me a "pure invention", "fake charge" and the "grossest injustice" ever committed upon any person in recent memory.

But this is not the only indication that the Supreme Court itself was predisposed to kowtow to Duterte when it comes to my situation. Up to now, after more than three years, the SC continues to sleep on my Petition for a Writ of Amparo against Duterte, which asks the Court to order Duterte to cease and desist in his personal attacks against me. This petition has largely become moot and academic, not because Duterte has stopped his attacks, but because the damage done to me is already complete and absolute. If only the Supreme Court acted promptly on my petition and ordered Duterte to stop his personal acts of persecution against me, my predicament would not have come to this.

Since the case was orchestrated, fabricated, and manufactured by Duterte and his operators, the evidence of the prosecution consist mainly of perjured testimonies coming from criminal convicts who are even disqualified by law to testify as witnesses for the state. It is revolting to note that none of these criminal convicts who all admitted during the House Justice Committee hearings of engaging in the drug trade was charged of any criminal offense, except for one. They were granted immunity in exchange for testifying against me, again illegally, because criminal convicts are prohibited by law from being granted immunity and turned state witness.

Other so-called prosecution witnesses - Ragos, Ablen and Esmeralda - are equally with zero credibility. All shameless liars! They're no different from the convicts-witnesses.

During the trial, the prosecution itself admitted that NOT A SINGLE ONE of the bank accounts identified by these criminal convicts to have been supposedly used to deposit the proceeds of the drug trade belongs to me. And more than three years after former SOJ Aguirre pronounced that he has in his possession the AMLC report of the "billions" in the drug trade transactions that supposedly passed through my accounts, the prosecution up to now cannot produce a single AMLC report that even a single centavo from the drug trade passed through my bank accounts.

The prosecution says the AMLC Report "is still a work in progress", more than three years after Aguirre said it was already in his possession. "Work in progress" is just a euphemism for a fishing expedition, or bespoking AMLC records according to the requirements of the prosecution. Perhaps, more time is needed to fabricate and manufacture AMLC records in my case.

So yes. Nothing in my arrest, detention, and trial is in accordance with ordinary legal and judicial processes. My case is a case of a targeted attack by none other than the President of the Philippines using the whole government machinery and the strong arm of the law to demolish, incapacitate, destroy, silence and put behind bars a political and personal opponent.

This is all about Duterte's deep-seated personal vendetta against me.

With all these glaring violations of my right to due process, it is impossible for Sec. Guevarra to go on proclaiming that he is not the one who should answer to his conscience.

But of course, Meynard, you are not the one who will answer to your conscience, because after you joined Duterte and embraced his case against me hook, line, and sinker, as your own, I doubt if you still have one. Sayang ka Meynard. Sayang ang talino mo...


(Access the handwritten version of Dispatch from Crame No. 693, here:

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