Press Release
October 12, 2017

Senators, supporters condemn SC ruling on De Lima's case

Colleagues in government and supporters have expressed their outrage over the Supreme Court's (SC) ruling rejecting Senator Leila M. de Lima's petition to dismiss the trumped-up drug charges against her and release her from jail.

In separate statements, De Lima's colleagues condemned the SC ruling as they conveyed their unequivocal support for the senator's unrelenting fight for freedom and justice.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who finds the SC ruling "unfortunate," said the decision of the High Court only shows President Duterte's supreme control of the three branches of the government, particularly the judiciary.

"The SC ruling is quite unfortunate as it virtually puts a stamp of legitimacy on the political persecution and injustice being done to Sen. Leila De Lima. It also highlighted Duterte's total control and manipulation of the three branches of government for his evil political ends. Dapat tindigan natin ito," he said.

Senators Franklin M. Drilon and Risa Hontiveros said they are saddened with the SC's decision but maintained De Lima's fight is far from over because she can still file for a Motion for Reconsideration.

"Nakakalungkot ang desisyon. Ganun pa man, tuloy ang laban para palayain si Senator Leila De Limasa pagkakapiit gamit ang mga peke at walang basehang kaso. Sa aking pagkakaalam, ang kampo ni Sen. Leila ay abala na sa paghahanda ng kanilang Motion for Reconsideration," Hontiveros said.

"Nakakalungkot. Ang aking paniwala ay dapat Ombudsman ang mag-hear nito. But I respect the decision of the Supreme Court. I'm a lawyer and former justice secretary, I disagree but I will respect the SC decision. I assume Sen. De Lima will file a motion for reconsideration and I hope the SC can take a close second look at the decision," Drilon added.

Voting 9-6, the High Court en banc rejected on Oct. 10 the motion filed by Senator De Lima seeking her release from detention and the nullification of the charges filed against her before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court.

De Lima earlier noted that the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 405 has committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing an arrest warrant while she still has a pending motion to quash.

Sen. Bam Aquino, for his part, said he remains hopeful that the High Court will not prohibit Senator De Lima to fulfill her duties as a duly elected senator.

"The minority will continue to throw our support behind Sen. Leila as she exhausts all legal remedies by appealing the Supreme Court's decision. Umaasa tayo na sa huli, makakamtan din ni Senator De Lima ang patas na pagkakataon at hustisya," he said.

The minority senators including Hontiveros, Trillanes, Drilon and Aquino, also released a joint statement condemning Senator De Lima's continued and unjust detention.

"Chairperson pa siya ng Commission on Human Rights, ipinaglalaban na ni Sen. Leila de Lima ang katarungan para sa mga biktima ng extra-judicial killings sa Davao City. Ito -- at ang pagpapatuloy ng kanyang krusada para sa mga ninakawan ng buhay nang hindi dumadaan sa mga itinakdang paraan -- ang dahilan kung bakit siya ngayon inuusig ng estado.

"Nakakalungkot na siya pang nagtatanggol ng karapatan ng iba, ng mahihirap, ng walang kapangyarihan ay ngayo'y paksa ng pagsupil. Nakakalungkot na siya pang ginagamit ang batas para isulong ang katarungan ang nagiging biktima ng mali o abusadong pagpapatupad nito... Nakakalungkot, pero nagtitiwala pa rin tayo sa batas, sa katarungan, at sa talino ng mga tagapagtaguyod ng ating mga karapatang mabuhay nang may kalayaan -- tayo mismo," the statement read.

De Lima's legal counsel Florin Hilbay also expressed his support for the senator, saying, "the path to justice for Leila de Lima is a steep incline, but her strong heart & unconquerable spirit will persist till justice is done."

Several groups - including #Tindig Pilipinas and #EveryWoman - did not fail to convey their solidarity for De Lima as they call for the stop to political persecution which is rampant under the Duterte administration.

"Where women are persecuted, there you will find poverty, ignorance, hopelessness and injustice. After years of progress are we to be called upon again to save our families and children from the failure of our institutions? If necessary, yes we shall fight. We are #EveryWoman and we stand with Leila De Lima," part of #EveryWoman's statement read.

Appalled at the SC decision, Tindig Pilipinas released a statement saying, "that the majority of justices in the Supreme Court should overlook these glaring violations of Sen. De Lima's basic constitutional rights adds to our increasing alarm at the systematic degradation of the basic checks and balance of our democracy. The Supreme court has failed us in the darkest hour."

Members of Tindig Pilipinas further called on the citizens to protest SC's "unconscionable decision" to prove that Senator De Lima is not alone in her fight.

De Lima, touted as a "Prisoner of Conscience," has since maintained there is not proof linking her to the illegal drug trade but manufactured evidence and perjured testimonies from convicted felons.

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