Press Release
March 22, 2021

Duterte's sexist remarks vs me could affect outcome of my cases; a looming mistrial - De Lima

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has bewailed Mr. Duterte's recent sexist tirades against her which she believes could adversely impact the outcome of her two remaining trumped-up drug cases before the Muntinlupa courts.

De Lima, the most prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime, said Duterte's continued public shaming of her can lead to "a mistrial of the most unjust proportions."

"His massive demolition campaign against me in 2016 already constitutes a trial and conviction by publicity even before any official investigation was conducted against me," she said in her Dispatch from Crame No. 1047.

"His prejudicial statements delivered now during the ongoing criminal proceedings against me can only contribute to what is looming to be a mistrial of the most unjust proportions," she added.

In a recent speech, Duterte called De Lima a "bitch" who made the world believe she is a "prisoner of conscience." As if it was not enough, he even accused that she supposedly had an affair with deceased convicted drug lord Jaybee Sebastian, which she flatly denied.

By injecting Sebastian in his gossip, the former justice secretary stressed that Duterte is again telegraphing to the courts that the only acceptable verdict in her two remaining drug cases is conviction.

"Because what judge will act otherwise when the President himself has already passed a judgment of guilt, especially now that even judges and lawyers are being assassinated all over the country under the regime of extra-judicial killings enabled and encouraged by Duterte himself?" she asked.

"I am in the dock for crimes that I did not commit and can land me in jail forever. Yet the President has no qualms in rigging the game, brooking no chance that I am given a fair trial, unhampered by any remedy from my end, for as long as Duterte sits on his throne. If this is not injustice and persecution of the highest order, I do not know what else is," she added.

The lady Senator from Bicol further questioned what remedy she has against Duterte's continued vilification considering that the Supreme Court already dismissed her petition for a writ of habeas data against the President on the ground that he is immune from suit.

"With Duterte's latest sexist tirades against me, and with the Supreme Court's junking of my habeas data petition that ruled that I have no remedy against the President because he is immune from suit, what is now my remedy against Duterte's continued vilification?" she asked.

"What institution can now protect me from this madman's incessant violation of my human rights and assaults on my dignity as a woman and as a human being? The Supreme Court says NONE. Isn't this tyranny?" she added.

De Lima was acquitted in one of her three trumped-up drug cases last Feb. 17, and has consistently maintained her innocence of all these cases.

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