MANILA — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday said calls to release detained Senator Leila De Lima are “uncalled for” stressing that the Philippine criminal justice system should be respected.
“We should all understand and respect our criminal justice system,” Lacson said in a press statement after Senator Antonio Trillanes IV called for her release in a privilege speech.
Lacson said the Senate “cannot and will not interfere with the courts that have jurisdiction over Sen. de Lima’s drug cases.”
“…The judiciary is independent of the executive and legislative branches. The same goes true, and even worse, in the case of foreign organizations and groups that are calling for her immediate release,” Lacson said.
On Thursday, representatives from the Women’s Caucus of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) visited De Lima at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
CALD, the only alliance of liberal and democratic parties in Asia and has members from 12 countries across the region, described De Lima’s detention as “political persecution” for her opposition to the alleged extrajudicial killings in the country linked to the drug war.
“They have no business in arrogantly asking our president to release Sen. de Lima. That’s totally uncalled for,” Lacson said.
De Lima, meanwhile, expressed gratitude to the Asian women leaders who continued to vouch for her integrity.
She is currently detained in Camp Crame for drug trafficking charges. However, she is allowed to continue to file bills and resolutions in the Senate. (PNA)