Senator Leila M. de Lima today lamented the Supreme Court (SC) decision dismissing her petition to dismiss the trumped-up illegal drug trade charges against her and release her from detention.
De Lima said while the SC decision legitimizes oppression and political persecution, the six magistrates who dissented from the main ruling have proven that one can stay true to sworn duty amid political pressures.
“I am deeply saddened and pained by the Supreme Court decision dismissing my petition. I had hoped that the justices who decided against my petition can feel the pain of someone who is sent to prison and yet is innocent of any crime, and has merely fallen victim to the strong arm of the State and the President’s deeply-rooted vengeance against her,” she said in a Dispatch from Crame No. 181.
“The SC’s majority decision tells us the extent to which Dutertism has distorted reason, suppressed the truth and rejected the primacy of conscience… I take heart though in the thought that six (6) dissenters – all venerable magistrates – stood their ground. I honor them with a profound thanks and admiration for their courage and fealty to their sworn duty,” she added.
Last Oct. 10, the High Court in a vote of 9-6, rejected the motion filed by Senator De Lima seeking her release from detention and the nullification of the charges against her before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court.
The tribunal claimed the regional trial court and not the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over De Lima’s case.
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.
The six justices who dissented from the main ruling include Maria Lourdes Sereno, Antonio Carpio Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, Francis Jardeleza, and Marvic Leonen.
The Senator from Bicol said her lawyers will file a motion for reconsideration, and will continue to appeal to the sense of fairness and justice of the Court.
“There is no other recourse but to go on fighting, especially when one is innocent as I truly am. Every day spent behind bars on bogus charges brings pain and untold sufferings. But it also strengthens resolve,” she said.
“Every single moment in prison serves as a reminder to me of the injustice being committed on thousands of others out there who are not only deprived of their liberty, but of their very right to exist. To go on fighting is the least I can do for them and their loved ones,” she added.
While she hopes to be vindicated from all the trumped-up drug charges filed against her, De Lima said she is ready to face whatever struggles – be it indefinite deprivation of liberty – will come her way.
“On a more personal reflection, I say this in all candor – While I deeply yearn for it from day one of my most unjust detention, I have no illusion about attaining vindication for as long as my persecutors remain in power,” she said.
” If it fulfills God’s purpose that I’m deprived of my liberty indefinitely, I completely and unqualifiedly accept it. I’m letting go and let God work in His own divine ways,” she noted.
In these challenging times, De Lima asked for continued prayers and support not just for herself but also for her family who continue to stand by her.