Dispatch from Crame No. 989: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Reaction to DOJ’s Filing of Contempt Charges


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It is of public knowledge that even before the trial in my cases and during the early stages thereof, Mr. Duterte has been spewing lies about my alleged drug links and has openly and repeatedly prejudged my guilt. Lies in an unparalleled smear campaign were enabled by Duterte’s propagandists, social media operators, trolls and sycophants in Congress.

Now tell me – don’t I have the right to now debunk those lies using the court testimonies of witnesses, and Duterte’s own witnesses at that? Don’t I have the right to assert my innocence before the very same forum—the public arena—where Duterte and his minions relentlessly attack my honor and integrity?

There is only one reason why a government and its prosecution arm, in this case the DOJ, would want our camp barred from sharing with the public the trial developments, particularly the material points or truths extracted from my lawyers’ cross examination of prosecution witnesses. It is to hide the trial from the public. It is to deny transparency to the conduct of the trial. It is to hide from the world the fabrication and manufacturing of evidence and testimony used to convict the innocent. It is to make a kangaroo court out of the judiciary.

An accused’s constitutional right to an open and public trial, and the imperatives of transparency, all the more must apply in the presentation by the State of witnesses who, by reason of their criminal record, lack credibility and whose testimonies are coerced, scripted and / or perjured.

An open and public trial is the only assurance not only of the accused, but also of the judiciary, that justice is dispensed fairly and squarely by our courts of law. It is the assurance of our judicial system that the courts will be looked upon by the people as models of impartiality and wisdom, and not as a strongman’s kangaroo courts.

Which is precisely why the DOJ wants to silence me and my lawyers in these cases. Because they know they are conducting a witch hunt, and a trial by burning at the stake.

After all, this is what their former Secretary, Aguirre, and Duterte already did before the trial started, even before charges against me were filed in court, and even before a preliminary investigation was conducted by the DOJ. Before all these, they already started burning me at the stake. Kapag paninira at puro kasinungalingan. gusto nila todo publicity. Kulang na lang araw-araw ang pambabalahura nila. Kapag naman katotohanan na ang lumalabas gusto nilang busalan ako at isekreto ang mga testimonyang paborable sa akin at magpapatunay na inosente ako.

Pero walang makakapigil sa katotohanan. At ang kasinungalingan ay malalantad rin sa patas na pagdinig ng hukuman. ###

Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 989, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatch_no._989

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