“Quite ironic because here I am now, standing by her; standing for her; fighting for her.” This was one of the statements of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV during his privilege speech on Thursday, as he seeks the help of his fellow senators to cooperate in the inquiry that will prompt the passing of Senator Leila De Lima’s amnesty.
The release of incarcerated De Lima is the objection of Trillanes. After citing all the allegations thrown against her, Trillanes affirmed that all the testimonies were fabricated.
“This is a clear case of prosecution,” Trillanes said.
Trillanes enumerated all the international agencies that have also urged for the release of the De Lima such as European Parliament, Human Rights Watch, Global Commission on Drug Policy, Amnesty International, InterParliamentary Union, Asia Catalyst, and ASEAN Parliamentarians on Human Rights.
“Gaya nating lahat, hindi perpekto si Sen. De Lima pero alam natin, deep in our hearts, na hindi siya involved sa illegal drugs at lalo nang hindi siya Drug Queen. Hindi po siya criminal para tratuhin na parang isang criminal [Like all of us, Sen. De Lima is not perfect but deep in our hearts we know that she is not involved in the illegal drugs and mostly she is not a Drug Queen. She is not a criminal to be treated as a criminal],” Trillanes said.
The senator persistently said that all the testimonies of the witnesses were scripted and was contradictory, particularly, Herbert Colangco’s and JB Sebastian’s.
According to Trillanes, there are several reasons why President Rodrigo Duterte would persecute and imprison De Lima. He also said that the primary evidences that have been used were merely testimonials.
“Base sa kasong isinampa, wala ni isang gramo ng droga at wala ni piso na pera ang naipresentang ebidensya [Based on the filed case, there is not a single gram of drugs and there isn’t even a peso that were presented as evidence],” he said in the latter part of his speech.
“We just willingly faced the consequences of our actions. But in the case of Sen. De Lima, she did nothing wrong. She was just accused. There was no overt action done at all to merit her incarceration,” he added.
“Ganito rin ako makipaglaban para sa iba sa inyo nung nakaraan. Ganito tayo dapat sa isa’t isa, lalo na kung para sa tama. Six months na siyang nakakulong, mabigat na parusa yan sa para isang taong walang pagkakasala. My colleagues, it’s time to do the right thing [This is also how I fought for some of you. We should act this way towards one another, especially if it’s for truth. She has been imprisoned for six months already. That is a heavy punishment for someone who has done nothing wrong. My colleagues, it’s time to do the right thing].”
“Kung nagexpress tayo ng outrage sa pagpapalaya kay Supt. (Marvin) Marcos at kanyang mga kasamahan na maliwanag na nag-commit ng murder, dapat lalo tayong magalit sa ginawa at ginagawa kay Senator De Lima. By any established standard, that is injustice. [If we expressed our outrage for the release of Supt. Marcos and his men who clearly committed murder, we should be angrier with what they are doing to Sen. De Lima. By any established standard, that is injustice],” he added.