Dispatch from Crame No. 187: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement on the Dissenting Opinion of the six (6) Supreme Court Justices on her petition

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Just finished reading all six (6) dissenting opinions in my Supreme Court case. I ended up teary eyed and deeply moved by the wise and discerning words of the honourable dissenting justices.

More than erudite dissertations on the legal issues of jurisdiction, probable cause and the lis mota of a drug trading or trafficking charge under RA 9165, the opinions are outstanding in their vigorous assertion of the primacy of constitutional issues and substantial justice over rigid technicalities.

The individual indictments separately expressed by the dissenters vis-à-vis the charges against me – “one of the grossest injustices,” “pure invention”, “fake charge,” “laughable,” “deeply disturbing,” “plain and simple injustice,” “quintessentially the use of the strong arm of the law” – are reflective of each dissenter’s deep grasp of the context and extraordinary circumstances that characterize my case and the serious ramifications that underpin the majority ruling.

Their lamentations on the unjustness of the Velasco ponencia reveal the dissenters’ underlying belief in my innocence, which is, to be completely honest, most important to me on a personal level.

It means so much to me, knowing that people believe in my innocence and my causes.

If they have not done so yet, I urge my friends and supporters to find time to go over the dissenting opinions so they can fully appreciate the “grossest,” if not colossal, injustice perpetrated against my person.

One cannot emphasize enough the magnitude of the persecution done, and is still being done, to me by this regime. The reality that I’m constantly being deluged by public pronouncements of the President and his henchmen vilifying my honor and womanhood, and have to contend with “institutional bombardment” from all 3 branches of government (to borrow the words of Dean Sta. Maria) is there for everyone and the whole world to see.

The legal attacks thrown at me are from all fronts – criminal, ethics, disbarment and election protest cases – as this vindictive President, who has vowed to “destroy” me, obviously desire not only for me to “rot in jail” but even stripped of my professional license and my electoral mandate. Is there a case of injustice more phenomenal or unprecedented?

The only thing I can cling to now is HOPE….

Hope that a few more Justices of the Supreme Court would be convinced of the merits of our position once our plea for reconsideration is presented to them. Hope that they find both the wisdom and the fortitude to vote equally according to the dictates of their reason and to the counsel of their conscience – either one of which would lead them to see the blatant lies, and the sheer and apparent acts of abuse of power committed in this case.

Hope that they realize that to make an innocent person suffer the rigors of trial – when the State has not even legitimately discharged its burden of, at the very least, truly proving probable cause – is already, by itself, its own form of injustice.

Hope that each one of them – veteran and newly appointed members of the Supreme Court alike – will realize the huge stakes that are involved in this case, over and beyond what it means to me personally as one falsely accused, and even beyond what it means to this President and this regime, who wants to silence and make an example out of me in order to inspire fear and blind obedience from others.

Hope that they have no illusions that this is an isolated case, affecting no one else but me, and is, in fact, a far-reaching case that will haunt not just this generation of Filipinos, but even the next.

Hope that they realize the destructive consequences on the rule of law and, ultimately, our democracy if a separate and co-equal branch of government appears to be timid and tractable in the shadow of the might of the Executive.

And, finally, Hope that at the end of all these, with God’s grace and mercy, something beautiful awaits this country.

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
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