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

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - NEWSPLUS -

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 drug-re­lated 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 so-called “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.

Napa County fire­fighter Ja­son Sheumann sprays wa­ter on a home as he bat­tles flames from a wild­fire Monday, Oct. 9, in Napa, Calif. Wild­fires whipped by pow­er­ful winds swept through Northern Cal­i­for­nia send­ing res­i­dents on a head­long flight to safety through smoke and flames as homes burned. (AP)

DE LIMA FILE PHOTO

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