Dispatch from Crame No. 433: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement on the Claim of Persecution on the part of the Past Administration


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Reveling over the acquittal of former Sen. Bong Revilla, sympathetic lawmakers, past and present, including those also charged in other pending PDAF Scam plunder and graft cases, cry political persecution from the previous administration. Sabi pa nga ng isa, pinag-initan lang daw sila ng dating administrasyon.

I don’t know what their definition of political persecution is.

In the case build-up versus Enrile, Estrada, Revilla, et al, as an offshoot of Benhur Luy’s illegal detention and rescue, no evidence was fabricated. Evidence was well documented coming from official government documents like those from COA and DBM. The paper trail was established, backed up by credible testimonies of Benhur Luy and other whistleblowers. No witness was ever coerced, pressured or threatened.

There was simply no reason to file a case against them other than the fact that evidence of their PDAF misuse was so blatant to be ignored by the PNoy Administration, irrespective of the political affiliation of those charged.

Their prosecution also went through an independent investigation of the Ombudsman, not only of the NBI and the DOJ. The layers of government agencies that the cases went through assured the public that the cases were thoroughly studied to have evidentiary basis, evidence that was not manufactured, before the Ombudsman finally decide to file the criminal complaints with the Sandiganbayan.

As then Secretary of Justice overseeing the case build-up, I, and for that matter, anyone in the PNoy Administration, never resorted to public vilification or character assassination of any of those under investigation. We never attacked their personal honor. Their rights were respected.

So what persecution are they talking about?

If indeed these powerful personalities were victims of political persecution, how come global institutions, such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and even the European Parliament and UN bodies, never took the cudgels for them or acted in solidarity with them?

Simple. These organizations know what is and what is not persecution.

I rest my case on my behalf and on behalf of the PNoy Administration that served our country well but now being systematically discredited by this good-for-nothing, abusive regime. ###

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