Press Release
January 10, 2020

Dispatch from Crame No. 700:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's Reaction to Sec. Guevarra's ludicrous suggestion that she knows that the evidence against her is "Strong"

This is Part 2 of what I wrote yesterday.

Sec. Guevarra, thank you for pointing out that I moved for the dismissal of the cases against me. But what you forgot to mention is that after I was put under trial by publicity in the House of Representatives, with then Sec. Aguirre taking a starring role of persecutor, my defense was railroaded during the so-called "preliminary investigation" that the DOJ conducted.

Very early on we questioned both the partiality and jurisdiction of the DOJ, saying the charges should be investigated by the Office of the Ombudsman, not just because this is a case that should be tried by the Sandiganbayan, but that the institution had already prejudged my case considering that it was the SOJ himself who was presenting so-called witness after witness in the congressional inquiry.

Despite motions seeking that these threshold issues be resolved first (because I was not prepared to waive these objections by filing my counter-affidavit), the Panel of Prosecutors kept on putting off ruling on our Omnibus Motion. Until it finally denied said Omnibus Motion, "along with the merit of the case", meaning, I had no opportunity to respond to the charges against me.

What SOJ Guevarra also failed to point out is that, although nine (9) of the 15 Supreme Court justices dismissed my petition, in truth I won in the Supreme Court because the differences in opinion of those 9 justices, in fact, proved my point that the Information is void for being insufficient to inform me of the charges against me. That SOJ Guevarra avoids going into the devil of the details is telling, because if one looks at the tally:

� Only five (5) Justices (Velasco, Bersamin, Martires, Reyes, and Gesmundo) voted together to hold me in continued pre-trial detention for Illegal Drug Trading.

� Three (3) Justices (De Castro, Tijam, and Peralta) categorically stated that the offense charged is Conspiracy to Commit Drug Trading.

� One other justice - Del Castillo - was ambiguous in his position. In one part of his separate concurring opinion, he states that the crime charged is "conspiring to engage in trading of illegal drugs," but in another part, he declares that the offense was "trading and trafficking of illegal drugs in conspiracy with her co-accused."

Given such clear lack of consensus among the 9 justices on the nature of the charge against me - which proves the very point of my petition! - due process dictates that the Court ought to have ordered my immediate release.

In fact, even the DOJ under SOJ Guevarra acknowledged that there was something wrong with the charges against me, when they moved to "amend" the information against me by - lo and behold! - changing the nature of the offense. I was no longer being charged with Illegal Drug Trading, but now mere "conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading", with the convenient effect that the Prosecution only needs to present witnesses who would confess to have conspired with me.

And yet, these self-confessed drug traffickers turned witnesses are not being charged along with me. In a further duplicitous act, SOJ Guevarra says one thing: that they are not state witnesses that have been granted immunity in exchange for their testimony against me; yet he does another: he has not charged them as co-accused. Because these witnesses are all they have against me.

The DOJ has taken the unbelievable move of objecting to our subpoena to produce the alleged bank accounts they themselves cited in court.

This brings me to another fact: there is still no AMLC report proving the preposterous claim that I received hundreds of millions of pesos from the drug trade. As of the end of 2019, the Prosecution was still seeking for more time to produce it. In other words, more than 3 years since SOJ Aguirre claimed that they have proof, the AMLC report is still not ready. Now, we will have to wait and see and whether anyone in the AMLC will come forward and sign a false report, if at all.

I have questioned so many abuses of due process in my case. Some have been completely ignored and unacted upon altogether; others have been dismissed unceremoniously. Time and again, with every step, rules are being re-written and the law being twisted. Even an issue of basic math in the counting of Supreme Court votes has evolved, but ignored.

See, there is strong evidence, not of my guilt, but of my wrongful prosecution and imprisonment, or my persecution.

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