Duterte critic seeks court pro­tec­tion

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

MANILA: A Philip­pine se­na­tor and the big­gest critic of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte filed a “test case” be­fore the Supreme Court yes­ter­day, seek­ing to fend off what she called ha­rass­ment by the volatile leader and his pub­lic tirades against her.

Leila de Lima, the for­mer jus­tice min­is­ter who Duterte’s al­lies re­moved as head of a Se­nate probe into his bloody war on drugs, said she had filed a writ of “habeas data” against the pres­i­dent to pro­tect her pri­vacy and if suc­cess­ful, it could take away some of his im­mu­nity.

“This is a test case, a novel case of tran­scen­den­tal im­por­tance,” de Lima told re­porters.

“Habeas data is rarely in­voked. We are test­ing the doc­trine of pres­i­den­tial im­mu­nity.”

In her pe­ti­tion, de Lima wanted to stop Duterte and his as­so­ciates from col­lect­ing in­for­ma­tion about her pri­vate life and for ev­i­dence al­ready gath­ered to be de­stroyed.

She also wants the court to stop the out­spo­ken pres­i­dent mak­ing pub­lic state­ments that ma­lign her as a woman and, ac­cord­ing to the pe­ti­tion, “de­grade her dig­nity as a hu­man be­ing”.

Duterte has ver­bally at­tacked de Lima al­most daily, dur­ing which he has ac­cused her sex­ual im­pro­pri­ety, among other things.

She faces al­le­ga­tions she had close links to big drug deal­ers op­er­at­ing in pris­ons when she was a min­is­ter for six years un­der the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment. – Reuters

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