Press Release
June 11, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1074:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on Fake Drug Charges and Drug Lists in the Fake Drug War


The revelations of Police Master Sgt. Jose Jay Senario on how Calbayog City Mayor Ronaldo Aquino was framed for illegal drug raps by his political rival with the help of PNP officers before he was ambushed and assassinated paints a dire picture of the extent political persecution has reached under the Duterte Administration.

I cannot avoid comparing my fate with that of Aquino, since like me he was framed and made a subject of bogus drug charges. At least I am still alive. Aquino was not so fortunate. Failing to get rid of him through a frame-up, his enemies with the help of PNP officers simply chose to kill him.

Hindi na nakakagulat ang ganitong mga expose'. Like the "nanlaban" narrative, concocted drug raps against targeted personalities, including political opponents, are a common feature of Duterte's war on drugs. My own situation is the gravest example of case fabrication. I look forward to the day when those who took part in this despicable project reveal the truth, and that any one or some of the prosecution witnesses against me come forward to confess, just like Sgt. Senario, on how they were forced and intimidated by Duterte's henchmen like former DOJ Sec. Aguirre, SOLGEN Calida, PAO Chief Acosta, Sandra Cam, and other officials hiding in the shadows, to fabricate drug charges against me.

In relation to this, I laud the decision of the Court of Appeals to finally rule on the unconstitutionality of Duterte's so-called drug lists of political personalities involved in the illegal drug business, when it granted the habeas data petition of Leyte Cong. Vicente Veloso.

It is about time the drug watchlists are exposed for what they are, as unconstitutional and illegal instruments for witch hunts and for intimidating politicians and even ordinary individuals who refuse to bend the knee to Duterte.

Indeed, if the government has hard evidence against politicians, then it should just file a case instead of including them in a drug list that endangers their life and that of their families. These lists are per se a violation of the human rights of individuals to be secure in their own person at all times, and to be free from government intrusion other than through legal searches and seizures, including the filing of proper bonafide cases in court, and not fabricated ones which is what was done in my case.

Although the CA decision came too late to protect the reputation and the life of Mayor Aquino, at least it could now be used to protect the life of Cong. Veloso. This also serves as a wake-up call to the judiciary. Their inaction in the past four years on cases of human rights violations in the course of Duterte's drug war has already cost so many lives. It is already time to shake off the cloak of madness thrown over the heads of our judges and justices in this war on drugs, and see it for what it really is. It is nothing but a tyrant's instrument of fear, the fear of being targeted as drug offenders or drug personalities and summarily executed by his death squads, like Mayor Aquino, or politically persecuted by his minions, like me.

(Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 1074, here:

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