February 13, 2017
STATEMENT OF LIBERAL PARTY SENATORS PANGILINAN, DRILON, AND AQUINO ON THE POSSIBLE FILING OF CHARGES & ISSUANCE OF ARREST WARRANT AGAINST SEN. DE LIMA
We must be wary of the possibility that criminal cases are being used as political tool, propaganda, and smokescreen or distractions for the public.
Filing charges and issuing warrants of arrest without credible evidence or witness is illegal and unjust --whether ordinary Filipino or senator. The stabbing of potential witness Jayvee Sebastian also puts a serious cloud of doubt on the veracity of his testimony and those of other inmates made to testify who may all very well be fearful for their lives.
We call on the Department of Justice to honor the rule of law and due process by supporting the Ombudsman's investigation, as they should have when its fact-finding investigation commenced in November 2016.
Per the Ombudsman Charter, the Ombudsman has primary jurisdiction over cases against public officers cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. Violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act, which is the DOJ's case against Sen. De Lima, falls under "other offenses committed by public officials" listed in the Sandiganbayan Law.
We also call on the public to remain vigilant and to cultivate a discerning eye and a critical mind for truth and justice.
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