De Lima dismayed, pained over DOJ’s decision to continue prosecuting her cases


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima is dismayed over Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra’s decision to adopt the position of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Panel of Prosecutors to continue prosecuting her cases despite categorical claims of coercion of witnesses.

“It is plainly a safe and nonchalant gesture. It is devoid of any effort to dig deeper in the wider scheme of things behind my persecution by Duterte. It is nothing but a worthless, unsubstantial table review,” she said in her Dispatch from Crame No. 1269.

“Frustrating but not at all surprising or unexpected. I guess it was wishful thinking to expect anything different from Sec. Guevarra. Regrettably, it is still a Pontius Pilate act when he simply relied on the so-called ‘assessment’ of the very panel of prosecutors handling the cases,” she added.

Guevarra said the prosecutors handling the remaining cases against the Senator have recommended that he push through with the charges.

The decision was made despite recantation of several witnesses of their allegations against De Lima. These include former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos, self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and De Lima’s former aide and co-accused Ronnie Dayan.

 On Ragos, in particular, De Lima asked if Guevarra even confronted the panel of prosecutors as to the truth of Ragos’s accusations against them.

 “It is doubtful that Sec. Guevarra even read the recantation of Rafael Ragos where it was revealed that early on, Ragos already told the members of this panel not to expect his testimony to be perfect, given that it was all made up lies and forced upon him by former SOJ Vitaliano Aguirre,” she said.

 Up to the end of his term, De Lima said Guevarra is minded to stand by the lies and manufactured evidence of the Duterte government because he does not want to displease his principal.

“He is, after all, Duterte’s alter ego. Never mind justice. Never mind fair play. Never mind that an innocent person was kept in jail for the past 5 years, and counting, without real evidence except the lies of mostly convicted felons. Never mind the Truth,” she said.

“It pains me that the very institution that I served faithfully has failed in its foremost, noble task to protect the innocent,” she added.

De Lima has consistently and firmly asserted her innocence in the cases filed against her. Due to lack of evidence, one of the three trumped-up drug charges against her has already been dismissed last Feb. 17, 2021. The two other cases are still pending. (30)

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