No logical excuse to justify demand for de Lima's release

Saturday November 23, 2019 ()

President Rodrigo Duterte appears to be in his best element when all of his enemies are ranged against him such as when the collective yellow mob signed a manifesto indicating indignation over the continued detention of Leila de Lima.

Leila de Lima

De Lima marked the 1,000th day of her incarceration as a result of drug trafficking charges.

Duterte branded the signatories as stupid liberals of the world for demanding the unconditional release of De Lima who they claim as being politically persecuted.

He indicated being insulted by their refusal to believe that De Lima is being prosecuted, not persecuted, on drug trafficking charges.

She has been locked up in Camp Crame since February 2017 after New Bilibid Prison (NBP) inmates pointed to her as benefiting from the narcotics business ran inside the supposed maximum security prison.

The former Department of Justice (DoJ) secretary is accused of raising funds for her senatorial campaign in 2016 from the illegal NBP operations.

“They took the line of the left that she is a political prisoner,” Duterte said.

Aside from the worn-out partisan noise, no logical excuse has been put forward to justify their demand.

The yellow liberals, who described themselves as political leaders and human rights defenders, consider De Lima as a prisoner of conscience.

The group even awarded De Lima last year a “Prize for Freedom” as a leading opposition voice to Duterte.

The strongest proof that all that is being hurled at Duterte are purely political drama is the Supreme Court decision in June last year that junked the appeal of De Lima to dismiss the drug trafficking case against her and affirmed the validity of her arrest based on charges filed by the DoJ.

The vote was a convincing 9-5 favoring the detention of the senator.

De Lima was never a prisoner of conscience since she is facing a case entirely unrelated to her political conviction or cause.

The usual detractors claim that the detention of De Lima was Duterte’s way of getting back at her since she started the investigation of the Davao Death Squad as chairman of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and later on leading in the Senate the investigation on the spate of extrajudicial killings (EJK).

The CHR ruling under De Lima did not even result in a prosecution while the Senate probe resulted in debunking the supposed vigilante army and the supposed EJK.

Among the groups that signed the manifesto are the New York-based Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, which have issued demands on several occasions that all charges be dropped immediately to pave the way for her release.

Yellow kingpins Vice President Leni Robredo, former President Benigno Aquino III, Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon and Senators Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros were also among the prominent names in the petition.

The senators have even pushed for De Lima to argue the plea against Duterte’s order for the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Rome Statute that created the ICC once she is freed.

The yellow bloc claimed the senator is the first “prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime.”

De Lima, aside from being an accused criminal, was also the enforcer of the brand of selective justice under Noynoy where the persecution of opponents is done in a predictable manner while yellow allies are shielded from accountability.

Duterte is in the middle of his term that was mostly devoted to fixing the problems on drugs proliferation, the crime wave, the dilapidated mass transit system, the poor state of infrastructure, the Mamasapano carnage, the Disbursement Acceleration Program scam and the Dengvaxia fiasco that the regime of yellow indiscretion left.

De Lima, despite all the theatrics that have been engaged in, is still accused of a crime which she must account for.

Indignation should be for the Filipino public to feel on the imposition of the yellow liberals on Duterte.

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