Palace dis­tances self from SC rul­ing to keep De Lima in jail

Sun.Star Baguio - - THE NATION -

MALA­CAÑANG on Tues­day de­clined to com­ment on Supreme Court’s (SC) de­ci­sion to junk de­tained Se­na­tor Leila de Lima’s plea to nul­lify the drug-re­lated cases lodged against her.

Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Ernesto Abella said it would not med­dle in the high court’s in­ter­nal af­fairs, par­tic­u­larly the han­dling of cases filed against De Lima.

Abella said the ex­ec­u­tive depart­ment would let the SC mag­is­trates to act on the charges against De Lima, who has been ac­cused of al­low­ing the drug pro­lif­er­a­tion in­side the na­tional pen­i­ten­tiary when she was still the Jus­tice Sec­re­tary.

“That is within the Supreme Court’s purview. We leave it to them to ad­dress that,” Abella said in a press con­fer­ence.

The pres­i­den­tial spokesper­son’s state­ment came af­ter the SC voted 9-6 to up­hold the ju­ris­dic­tion of Muntinlupa Re­gional Trial Court over the se­na­tor’s drug cases.

De Lima is cur­rently de­tained at the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice Cus­to­dial Cen­ter in Camp Crame, Que­zon City for her al­leged in­volve­ment in ram­pant narcotics trade in­side the New Bili­bid Pri­son in Muntinlupa City.

De Lima was or­dered ar­rested on Fe­bru­ary 24 for al­legedly re­ceiv­ing money from il­licit drug trans­ac­tions in­side the state pen­i­ten­tiary while she was the Jus­tice Sec­re­tary from 2010 to 2015. She also al­legedly used the drug money for her 2016 se­na­to­rial bid.

The fil­ing of dru­gre­lated cases against De Lima stemmed from Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte's ac­cu­sa­tion that De Lima was the "high­est gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial" who al­lowed the narcotics sale in­side the New Bili­bid Pri­son.

The se­na­tor has since de­nied the al­le­ga­tions and in­sisted that she was a vic­tim of the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion's so­called "po­lit­i­cal per­se­cu­tion."

Mala­cañang, how­ever, has re­peat­edly de­nied that De Lima was de­tained be­cause of po­lit­i­cal per­se­cu­tion, ex­plain­ing that she was put to jail be­cause of her al­leged drug in­volve­ment. (SunS­tar Philip­pines/Ruth Abbey Gita)

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