LP supports De Lima’s release on bail

AFTER over three years in detention without strong proof, Sen. Leila De Lima deserves to be released on bail, the Liberal Party of the Philippines said Monday.

“Ang tagal nang malayo si Sen. Leila sa kanyang mga mahal sa buhay dahil sa mga imbentong paratang ng mga convicted na kriminal,” said LP vice president on external affairs Erin Tañada.

Since her arrest on 24 February 2017, De Lima has been in detention at the Philippine National Police-Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

“Kaisa tayo sa kolektibo at patuloy na panawagan para sa agarang paglaya ni Senator Leila de Lima sa pamamagitan ng paggawad sa kanyang petisyon para makapagpiyansa,” he added, noting various support for the senator’s release.

On 15 June 2020, De Lima filed a Motion for Bail before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 166 for alleged conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading, Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2012.

“Hindi lang napapanahon, ngunit konstitusyunal na karapatan ni Sen. Leila ang makapagpiyansa,” said Tañada, who is also a human rights lawyer.

“We trust that the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court-Branch 205 will see through her innocence as it gives due course to her Motion for Bail,” he added.

Throughout the years’ long court hearings, witnesses themselves in their testimonies clearly manifested that there is no sufficient evidence, let alone strong evidence to prove the allegations that the senator supposedly demanded money for her senatorial campaign from a drug lord.

“The testimonies of the witnesses have questionable probative value for being irrelevant, hearsay, incredible, biased, and self-serving,” Tañada said.

As decided in the case of Padilla vs Court of Appeals, the former House Deputy Speaker said the Supreme Court had ruled that “bail is a matter of right if the evidence is not strong.”

“Napatunayan din ni Sen. Leila na hindi siya flight risk, gaya ng makikita sa pagrespeto niya sa mga prosesong ligal, sa mga taon ng kanyang pagseserbisyo publiko, sa kanyang panlipunan at pampulitikang katayuan, at ang kanyang mandato bilang Senador ng Republika,” Tañada said.

Tañada said De Lima has suffered long and degrading years in incarceration for standing up for truth and human rights in the country. He said she deserves to steadfastly pursue her advocacies without restraint and fully discharge her duties as an elected senator of the nation.

“The more than three years Sen. Leila has spent languishing in prison serve as a dark reminder of the administration’s prosecution of its critics and the eroding human rights in the country,” he added.


Reference: Erin Tañada, 0917 529 0400