Leila de Lima

Marcos on pleas for De Lima’s release: ‘We don’t doubt the process’

Michelle Abad

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Marcos on pleas for De Lima’s release: ‘We don’t doubt the process’

'FREE LEILA.' Supporters of former Senator Leila De Lima gather outside the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court as de Lima attends a hearing in one of her two remaining drug cases, on October 10, 2022.


Former senator Leila de Lima's hostage-taking on October 9 has reignited calls for her release

MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday, October 14, responded to the plea of detained former senator Leila de Lima and opposition lawmakers seeking her release, saying he trusts the process, and that asking state prosecutors dealing with her drug-related cases to do anything would be “interfering.”

Marcos made the statement in a chance interview with reporters, when asked about the call of opposition lawmakers for him to order prosecutors to dismiss the cases against De Lima so she can be released from detention.

“I think urging prosecutors to do one thing or another is interfering. So, that’s why I have said we are very, very clear that we have three [branches] of government, at siguro naman hindi natin dapat – pabayaan natin. Hindi naman natin pinagduduhanan ang process eh,” said Marcos in a chance interview with reporters.

(We probably shouldn’t – we should let it be. We don’t doubt the process.)

State prosecutors are under the Department of Justice (DOJ), which is under the executive.

In a statement a day earlier, De Lima made a plea to Marcos, noting that she would never ask the President to interfere with the courts.

“Mr. President, will not and will never ask you to interfere with the courts. This is my earnest and most respectful plea to you, your Excellency: Order DOJ to stop blocking the testimony of the recanting prosecution witness Rafael Ragos and for them to stop presenting obviously perjured witnesses like Herbert Colango,” she said.

“You can reverse the grievous wrongs inflicted on me by your predecessor. Please, Mr. President. Salamat po (Thank you),” De Lima added.

In late April, Ragos retracted his accusations against De Lima. Ragos was a witness on record for the prosecution, and whose testimony was among the factors that prompted a Muntinlupa court judge to proceed with De Lima’s trial. (READ: After Kerwin, DOJ’s star witness retracts accusation vs De Lima)

The recanted testimonies of government witnesses in the case against De Lima fueled renewed calls for the release of De Lima, a staunch Duterte critic who was arrested in 2017 over what she called trumped-up drug charges.

Amid the recanted testimonies of government witnesses, then-incoming justice secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla had said that dropping charges against De Lima was possible “if it’s the only recourse.”

On the day De Lima was held hostage by a fellow detainee in Camp Crame on October 9, Marcos had a phone conversation with her and offered the former senator the option to transfer to a different detention facility. She decided to not take the offer, saying she still found her detention facility safe.

Marcos said that the phone conversation was the “extent” of his discussion with De Lima.

“I wanted to ask her if she feels safe, because if she doesn’t feel safe, sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Ililipat ka namin,’ and she said, sabi naman niya, ‘Hindi naman siguro kailangan,'” said Marcos. (I told her “We will transfer you,” and she said, “That won’t be necessary.”) – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Clothing, Apparel, Person


Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a multimedia reporter at Rappler. She covers the rights of women and children, migrant Filipinos, and labor.