‘Di kayo api! De Lima disses ‘pork’-linked senators for crying political persecution
Detained Senator Leila de Lima is quite “amazed” at how critics of the previous Aquino administration defined political persecution.
She said that “reveling over the acquittal of former senator Bong Revilla, sympathetic lawmakers, past and present, including those also charged in other pending PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) scam, plunder and graft cases, cry political persecution from the previous administration.”
“Sabi pa nga ng isa, pinag-initan lang daw sila ng dating administrasyon,” De Lima she said.
“I don’t know what their definition of political persecution is,” the opposition senator said.
She stressed that in the case build-up versus former senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Revilla, et al, as an offshoot of Benhur Luy’s illegal detention and rescue, “no evidence was fabricated.”
“Evidence was well documented coming from official government documents like those from CoA (Commission on Audit) and DBM (Department of Budget and Management),” she said.
De Lima said the paper trail was established, backed up “by credible testimonies of Benhur Luy and other whistleblowers.”
No witness was ever coerced, pressured or threatened, the senator from Bicol said on Monday.
She said that there was simply no reason to file a case against them other than the fact that evidence of their PDAF misuse “was so blatant to be ignored by the PNoy (President Noynoy Aquino) administration, irrespective of the political affiliation of those charged.”
“Their prosecution also went through an independent investigation of the Ombudsman, not only of the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) and the DoJ (Department of Justice),” she said.
The layers of government agencies that the cases went through assured the public that the cases were thoroughly studied to have evidentiary basis, evidence that was not manufactured, before the Ombudsman finally decide to file the criminal complaints with the Sandiganbayan, she said.
“As then Secretary of Justice overseeing the case build-up, I, and for that matter, anyone in the PNoy administration, never resorted to public vilification or character assassination of any of those under investigation,” De Lima said.
“We never attacked their personal honor. Their rights were respected. So, what persecution are they talking about?” she asked.
If indeed these powerful personalities were victims of political persecution, how come global institutions, such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and even the European Parliament and UN bodies, “never took the cudgels for them or acted in solidarity with them?” she asked.
“Simple. These organizations know what is and what is not persecution,” the senator said, who was detained at the Phil. National Police Custodial Center in February 2017 on drug charges.
“I rest my case on my behalf and on behalf of the PNoy Administration that served our country well but now being systematically discredited by this good-for-nothing, abusive regime,” De Lima added.