Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima deplored the unfair election practice being perpetrated by the government after the Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors have blocked her request to record material inside detention quarters for her bid for re-election.
De Lima, the most prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime, stressed that the law allows her to run for re-election and that there is no law that prohibits her campaign.
“The DOJ says that I am asking for special treatment and that the fact of my being charged already sets me below the standards reserved by society for upright citizens.”
“This is the height of prosecutorial persecution being perpetrated by the DOJ Panel of Prosecutors. I am already at a disadvantage as it is, campaigning from jail due to the fake charges and evidence fabricated by the DOJ, only to be further prevented from recording materials for my legitimate bid for re-election,” she said.
“I am not asking for freedom to campaign outside of prison. That the DOJ would oppose a simple request for the taking of campaign video and audio inside prison is plain proof of an unfair election practice being perpetrated by the government, especially now that Duterte is also vying for a senatorial post,” she added.
De Lima has earlier asked the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) 256 to allow her campaign team to take her photos and videos inside her detention at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center, Camp Crame, within the period of December 27 to 30. The photos and videos will be needed for her campaign material come the official campaign period.
“This request is absolutely necessary to give full meaning to the electoral process, as these photographs and videos will be used for the candidacy of De Lima,” the Senator’s Motion read.
In a Comment/Opposition with Manifestation on De Lima’s Motion filed before Branch 256, the DOJ asked the court to deny it because she is not in similar situation as with other candidates.
The lady Senator from Bicol reminded the DOJ that she has not yet been adjudged guilty of the trumped-up drug charges filed against her, and was even already acquitted in one case, while the two other cases have now been delayed for trial for two years since the start of the pandemic.
De Lima further stressed that her application for bail is in limbo because the trial of her cases has been suspended indefinitely.
“They are saying that I cannot produce materials for my campaign even if these are taken inside prison,” she said.
“Sobrang takot na ba ni Duterte na pati simpleng pagkuha ng video para sa kampanya ko ay pinapabawal niya sa DOJ?” she asked.
It may be recalled that De Lima confirmed that she would seek reelection in the 2022 national elections in an indictment letter addressed to Mr. Duterte last July 21, where she said that the political persecution she has been subjected to by the Duterte administration only strengthened her resolve to fight for her advocacies. She filed her Certificate of Candidacy last Oct. 8. (30)