Palace distances self from SC ruling to keep De Lima in jail
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.
DE LIMA FILE PHOTO