Dispatch from Crame No. 185: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s statement on DOJ’s plan to amend the charges filed against her


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It is ironic that, on paper, it looks like I lost my case before the Supreme Court. In truth, however, because of my petition, my persecutors have now implicitly admitted that they have no evidence to charge me. This is the one and only glaring fact that should be evident after Secretary Aguirre revealed that DOJ prosecutors are thinking of changing their story as to my alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.

This was already made painfully and starkly obvious during the oral arguments before the Supreme Court last March. Back then, I, thru my lawyers confronted my persecutors with the fact that there was no allegation, much less proof, of the corpus delicti of the offense of illegal drug trading that I was being charged with.

No drugs, no proof of the sale thereof. Nothing. Not even proof of the alleged billions of pesos I allegedly received; not even after Aguirre announced in public that I allegedly had hundreds of millions of pesos in banks; and certainly not after he attempted – and failed – to force former employees to falsely testify against me.

In response, the OSG skirted the utter lack of evidence against me and, instead, forwarded a completely different theory from that of the DOJ Prosecutors, who, in the estimation of the OSG, are apparently so incompetent that they can’t even figure out what crime they were actually supposed to charge me with in the first place.

According to the OSG, there is no need to present evidence of the crime of illegal trading because I wasn’t supposed to be charged for that offense anyway, but merely for conspiring with others to commit it. In their mind, that’s enough to explain why they cannot even present a single evidence of the crime.

Wrong! What that theory sufficiently and unequivocally shows is that my persecutors cannot even properly fabricate charges against me. That’s enough to show that there was, as I have been saying all along, a glaringly clear, single-minded, over-eagerness to indict me for a crime I didn’t commit.

Most disturbingly, however, is that they want the courts and the people to believe that a person could be forced to undergo the rigors, expense and anxiety of trial, and be placed in jeopardy of losing their liberty and be adjudged guilty, based solely on the perjured say-so of mostly convicted felons who have been coerced, pressured or otherwise unduly influenced to give false testimonies. In the vernacular, to put a person in jail these days for the non-bailable offense of drug trafficking, laway lang pala ang puhunan.

There is something terribly, terribly wrong and frightening with that prospect.

The bottomline is that the powers of the State shouldn’t be so abused as to allow prosecutors to condemn a person for committing illegal drug trading, directly or in conspiracy with others, without even proving the illegal drug trade in the first place, and without even charging those who have admitted that they were the ones who conducted the illegal drug trade.

No court and no thinking Filipino should allow this to happen. Not even for my sake, and not just for seemingly remote ideals like “truth”, “justice” and “rule of law” – but for the most basic and practical reason that to allow this is to allow the government to imprison, persecute, silence and oppress any Filipino by simple expediency of getting some random felon or other purported witness to point a finger at him or her. This is wrong. And this is dangerous. Let no man or woman abide this deed.

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
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Trunk Lines:
(632) 552-6601 to 70 local no. 5750

Direct Lines:
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