De Lima thanks Lagman for adding voice to call for her release


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima welcomed the recent statement by Albay 1st  District Rep. Edcel Lagman urging President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to free her.

 De Lima said the outpouring of support she receives from personalities like Lagman, following the recantation of several witnesses against her, is proof that she is not alone in her fight for truth and freedom.

 “Your latest statement urging the incoming administration to set me free is further proof of your unwavering support and solidarity. Nakakataba po ng puso ang patuloy ninyong pagtitiwala at pag-alala sa akin.

“I really hope and pray that my liberty will come soon so I can finally be reunited and work again more earnestly in pursuit of our shared aspirations for our country,” De Lima said in her letter addressed to Lagman.

 “Nagpapasalamat po ako sa lahat ng nagpahayag at nagpapahayag pa ng kanilang suporta at malasakit sa akin at sa pagkadismya nila sa patuloy kong di-makatarungang pagkakakulong. Nananatiling matatag ang aking loob dahil sa lumalakas na panawagan at suporta para sa aking agarang paglaya at pagbasura na sa mga gawa-gawang kaso laban sa akin,” she added.

In a statement, Lagman advised Marcos Jr. to free De Lima to ensure that his administration would start off on the right foot.

“Liberating Sen. Leila de Lima from an odious incarceration soon after President-elect Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. assumes office is the litmus test of his sense of justice and adherence to the rule of law,” Lagman said.

 “While de Lima languishes in jail, the prosecution is grasping at barren straws. The new administration will embark on the right foot by freeing de Lima from an unwarranted and unjust imprisonment,” he added.

 Lagman stressed that “the public prosecutors must be directed to desist from further prosecuting de Lima for want of competent and credible evidence.”

It can be recalled that several witnesses including 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, recanted their allegations against the Senator in relation to the illegal drug trade.

Aside from them, Marcelo Adorco, former government witness against Espinosa, through his counter-affidavit filed at the DOJ on August 28, 2020, also denied personally knowing De Lima and that he had no personal knowledge about the alleged meeting of De Lima and Espinosa in Baguio City.

The said recantations prompted local and international groups, leaders and personalities to publicly express their support and solidarity with her, including US Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin and his fellow US Senators Marco Rubio, Ed Markey, Marsha Blackburn, Chris Coons and Patrick Leahy, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power, the Amnesty International, the European Parliament, Vice President Leni Robredo, Senators Grace Poe, Risa Hontiveros and Kiko Pangilinan, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, and former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit, among others. (30)

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