THE Justice department has assigned a controversial prosecutor―who had previously likened the critics of the Duterte administration to cockroaches―to the prosecution panel tasked to handle the drug cases against detained Senator Leila de Lima.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Sunday he issued an order designating former Caloocan City prosecutor Darwin Cañete to the prosecution team based on the recommendation of the Office of the Prosecutor General.
“I recently issued a department order expanding and reorganizing the De Lima prosecution panel upon the recommendation of the Office of the Prosecutor General,” Guevarra said.
“However, I do not personally know each member of the panel.”
Guevarra said the prosecution team would always base its moves on evidence, and despite the perception of bias arising from Cañete’s controversial remarks on his Facebook post, including the one in June last year where he said “yellows” should be killed like cockroaches.
Cañete was transferred to the Mandaluyong City Prosecutor’s Office from Caloocan City due to his controversial remarks following the killing of 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos in Caloocan city, prompting calls for then Justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to sack him.
But Aguirre rejected the call, saying Cañete was merely a passionate prosecutor who had the right to freedom of expression.