Dispatch from Crame No. 321: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s statement on the alleged vindication of DOJ’s Prosecution against her


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Former DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II claims that the Supreme Court decision denying my Motion for Reconsideration on the legality of my arrest and detention is a vindication of the DOJ’s prosecution against me.

Aguirre’s record of baseless accusations should be the only basis for the credibility of the DOJ charges against me. Throughout his term as SOJ — which has, thankfully, ended sooner than later – Aguirre was well-known for his outrageous accusations against a variety of individuals and personalities, including a Congresswoman and a former Senator for supposed bribery of the convict witnesses against me, Senators for their supposed conspiracy in the Marawi uprising, and South Korean embassy personnel’s alleged involvement in a syndicate.

Aguirre threw accusations wildly and without regard to the position he held, making himself a laughing stock of the Duterte Cabinet. That is a feat by itself. Not satisfied with the fabricated drug charges against me, he accused me of almost every crime that happened during his term, like the Resorts World attack and the Bilibid prison riot.

As DOJ Secretary, Aguirre was nothing but a lawyer under the service of the Davao criminal syndicate led by Duterte. He was simply the Davao Mafia’s lawyer, who earlier on defended the Davao Death Squad leaders to prevent the exhumation of DDS victims from the Laud Property in Brgy. Ma-a, Davao City.

Upon capturing State power, this Mafia syndicate lost no time in using the entire State machinery to make criminality the new normal, by legitimizing extra-judicial killings, exonerating their big-time partner shabu smugglers and drug lords, and institutionalizing large-scale corruption in government. Aguirre himself was never made to account for his role in the 50 million-peso Jack Lam shakedown that he ordered his Bureau of Immigration underlings to execute.

Aguirre knows how he fabricated every single piece of testimony against me, from arranging the House of Representatives circus of Bilibid convicts, the stabbing of Jaybee Sebastian and other Bilibid 19 convicts who then still refused to testify against me, the special privileges given to the convicts who did testify against me, the coercion and intimidation of DOJ officials and employees who refused to implicate me, up to the manufacturing of fictitious and non-existent BDO bank accounts which, up to now, have not been shown to actually exist and contain money that belongs to me.

The SC’s denial of my Motion for Reconsideration does not mean that Aguirre or the DOJ is vindicated in filing charges against me. It only means that the Davao criminal syndicate that has captured State power in 2016 has not only been using the power of the executive department to eliminate their sworn enemies, like myself, but was also able to extend its influence as well to the judicial branch of government.

The Acting Chief Justice himself called that decision “one of the grossest injustices ever perpetrated in recent memory”, definitely not because it vindicates the DOJ, but precisely because it was a great travesty of justice that six (6) members of the Court refused to sign. ###

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