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Special si De Lima? Sotto twits Senate minority for wanting Leila freed, but not Enrile

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by: Xave Gregorio

Senate Majority Leader Tito Sotto hit the Senate minority for filing a resolution calling for Senator Leila de Lima to be freed from detention, but not supporting his plea three years ago to put former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile under house arrest.

“The sauce for [the] goose is [the] sauce for [the] gander. Why did they not support me when i ask[e]d [the] same for [Enrile] then?” Sotto said Thursday on Twitter.

Sotto was referring to his appeal to fellow senators to pass a resolution calling for his political mentor Enrile to be put under house arrest, urging the Sandiganbayan to show “judicial compassion” to the then-91 year old senator.

Enrile was facing a P172 million plunder and graft charge in connection with the pork barrel scam before the Sandiganbayan and was confined in Makati Medical Center due to pneumonia when Sotto urged his colleagues to pass a resolution.

The Senate did not pass any resolution calling for Enrile to be put under house arrest, but Sotto sent a letter to the anti-graft court, which was signed by then-Senate President Franklin Drilon, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, then-Senators Sergio Osmeña III, Lito Lapid, Teofisto Guingona III and Bongbong Marcos, and Senators Gringo Honasan, JV Ejercito, Nancy Binay, Sonny Angara, Bam Aquino, Cynthia Villar, Grace Poe, Loren Legarda and Chiz Escudero.

Of those who were members of the Senate in the 16th Congress, only Drilon and Aquino—both partymates of De Lima in the Liberal Party—were among the solons who filed on Thursday Senate Resolution No. 645 calling for her immediate release from “unjust detention”

De Lima will be marking one year in jail at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame over drug charges, all stemming from allegations that she conspired to trade illegal drugs in the New Bilibid Prison which were backed up by testimonies from prison gang leaders.

Enrile, on the other hand, is facing plunder and graft charges for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam, which has been backed up by documents, including a 2011 Commission on Audit report saying his pork barrel fund went to dubious organizations.

He, however, has been allowed to post bail by the Supreme Court (SC) in 2016.

The SC in October 2017 upheld the drug charges against De Lima.