Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima expressed solidarity with Sen. Risa Hontiveros as the latter continues to be on the receiving end of attacks and fake charges, just like her, by the Duterte regime.
De Lima said the timing of Hontiveros’ indictment for a sham wiretapping case, filed in 2017 by former Justice Secretary and incumbent National Police Commission (Napolcom) Vice Chairman Vitaliano Aguirre II, “reeks of desperation.”
“Expect Duterte’s favorite attack dogs to become more rabid as his reign of terror nears its end. Si Sen. Risa naman ang puntirya ng mga dorobo. Pagkatapos siyang kasuhan ng Pharmally dahil sa matapang niyang pag-iimbestiga sa mga ma-anomalyang kontrata nila sa gobyerno, binubuhay naman itong wire-tapping case,” she said.
“Desperadong PR stunt [ito] para siraan si Sen. Risa sa mga taong nagtitiwala sa kanyang integridad at kakayahan,” she added.
Hontiveros reportedly posted bail last December 28, over the wiretapping complaint filed against her by Aguirre, following the release of the arrest order against her a day prior.
In a statement, Hontiveros repeated her call for the dismissal of the case as it was “worthless and baseless,” saying she was surprised that a case from 2017 suddenly moved forward.
De Lima maintained that Hontiveros did not violate the law when she disclosed in a privilege speech the text messages of Aguirre conspiring to file trumped-up charges against her.
“Si Aguirre pa nga ang dapat kasuhan. Pero kailangan ng rehimen ng matinding escape plan sa dami ng kasalanan nila sa bayan. And part of this sinister plan is to silence those who speak truth to power. As if naman masisindak nila si Risa Hontiveros,” she said.
“What should not be forgotten is that this harassment suit against Sen. Risa stemmed from the Senate inquiry into the death of Kian delos Santos, who was murdered by cops in connection with the so-called ‘War on Drugs’ of this administration.”
“So it is somehow par for the course for this administration to do this to a champion of a child-victim of murder as we celebrate the day of Los Niños Inocentes,” she added.
De Lima further said: “Sen. Risa, napakarami naming kasama mo sa laban na ito. Laban lang. Laban lang tayo!”