Malacañang on Tuesday maintained that Senator Leila De Lima was accorded procedural due process in all stages of her criminal prosecution.
Acting presidential spokesman Martin Andanar issued the clarification in light of De Lima’s allegations that the drug charges filed against her were meant to persecute her in retaliation to her criticisms of the government’s anti-drugs war.
Andanar was also reacting to queries by some of the presidential candidates whether at this point, De Lima should be released.
“While we respect the opinions of the presidentiables who gave their stance on Senator De Lima’s detention, we have to underscore that the senator has been accorded due process in all stages of her criminal prosecution,” Andanar said.
“The rule of law, as President Rodrigo Duterte said on numerous occasions, must always prevail,” he added. Andanar also said De Lima’s reaction was meant to woo voters to her side as she was seeking reelection.
“Senator Leila de Lima’s latest remarks are spoken in the middle of the campaign season. It is therefore understandable that she wants to get the sympathy vote from the Filipino electorate,” he said.
De Lima earlier said the debates about her case highlighted how Duterte created a culture of fear as some presidentiables were “obviously reluctant” to speak up on the issue.
De Lima has been detained for the past five years over what her camp called “trumped-up” drug charges.