Last Wednesday, August 30, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV urged his colleagues “to right the wrong” and free the detained Senator Leila De Lima and allow her to clear her name.
It’s been six months since Sen. De Lima has been detained due to charges of involvement in the prison drug trade during her time as Justice secretary. In his privilege speech, Sen. Trillanes has called Sen. De Lima’s detention as “clear case of political persecution.”
He further added that all the testimonies against Sen. De Lima were given by prisoners or convicted inmates who were vulnerable to coercion. Most statements were obviously “scripted” or false allegations.
He pointed out three possible reasons why Sen. De Lima is being targeted by the Duterete administration.
First, he said he believes that President Duterte is being vengeful against her. When Sen De Lima was still the Chairman of Human Rights, she initiated an investigation on allegations of a Davao Death Squad. Second, he thinks that it’s because when Sen. De Lima was the chair of Senate Justice Committee, she also ordered an inquiry on the extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration. Lastly, Sen. De Lima’s prosecution serves as a fair warning against the critics of the administration.
He urged Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chair of the Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee, to order an inquiry on the allegations against Sen. De Lima so she can clear her name.
Sen. De Lima has been detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame since February. Several international groups including the European Union have already called for the release of Sen De Lima and a fair trial to be set for her.
To view the full privilege speech of Sen. Antonio Trillanes, you may read it at the official Facebook account of Sen. Leila De Lima.