SENATOR Leila de Lima said Tuesday Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella was missing the whole point.
“I have nothing to hide and much less do I have any cause to deny any alleged involvement with the illegal drug trade or with any of its so-called drug lords that this administration has repeatedly and desperately insisted I have,” she said in a statement.
“The way our criminal justice system works”•or is supposed to work”•is that the burden of proving the guilt of a person belongs to the prosecution.”
De Lima said the allegations against her were unsubstantiated, and that those came mainly from drug convicts and the so-called “witnesses” with axes to grind.
She said when Abella presumed to tell her to first answer the allegations against her before she attempted to seek relief from the Supreme Court for the violations she had suffered, she told him to display a better understanding of, and more regard for, the basic protections set forth in the Constitution upon which the workings of the Justice System was founded.
She invited Abella to help elevate the discourse on the critical issues affecting the nation by first carefully reading the full text of her petition for a writ of habeas data, taking the time to watch the video clips submitted as evidence along with other attachments before dismissing her case as “noise”.
“As for me, I stand by the strength of my legal arguments, and I’m confident that the Supreme Court would see the merits of my case. No one can deny the legitimate issues I have raised in my petition. They are adequately documented and supported by verifiable facts,” De Lima said.
The former Justice secretary told Abella not to worry how she played her cards.
Meanwhile, De Lima told reporters she wanted Ramon Espinosa, an elder brother of slain Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., to face the Senate over his reported statement that the mayor’s affidavit linking her to illegal drugs was “ready-made.”
The Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs led by Senator Panfilo Lacson is set to hold an inquiry on Thursday jointly with the committee on justice and human rights on Espinosa’s death and that of Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao, and nine of his men last Oct. 28.
De Lima said she read a report from the Cebu Daily News that the brother of the slain mayor had told him before he was killed that the list did not come from him.