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Palace tells US lawmakers seeking De Lima release: Mag-aral muna kayo!

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By Prince Golez

Malacañang on Thursday urged the foreign relations committee of the US Senate to “study” the judicial process in the Philippines.

This, after the US lawmakers passed a Resolution 142 calling on the Philippine government to release Senator Leila de Lima and to drop all the charges against the news website Rappler and its editor, Maria Ressa.

“Dapat mag-aral sila, pag-aralan nila kung ano ang prosesong dinadaanan natin, para hindi sila nagkakamali at hindi sila dapat nakikinig sa mga sabi-sabi, iyong mga nababasa nila sa diyaryo, iyong mga natatanggap nilang mga liham kung saan-saan galing at nagsasabing si Senator De Lima ay pini-persecute – hindi totoo iyon,” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

In February 2017, De Lima was arrested and detained for her alleged link to the drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison when she was a justice secretary.

Panelo noted that there are processes before a person can be charged and be brought before the court.

“There is a preliminary investigation conducted by another administrative officer, meaning the public prosecutors who investigate the case and they find probable cause, then the respondent will be charged in court, but before the warrant of arrest shall be issued, there will be another determination of the existence of a probable cause by a judge after evaluating the evidence,” he added.

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