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Release Leila de Lima

"The case against her has crumbled."

 

 

When foreign and local media talked about a so-called radical shift in the Pope’s position on same-sex civil union, my immediate reaction was that the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines should make a clarification right away. This could cause confusion among the faithful.

I asked, what exactly did Pope Francis say and mean?

I take off from the column of Fr. Rannie Aquino in another newspaper. Fr. Aquino said that Pope Francis actually said nothing new. Ever since he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, the Jesuit has been against same-sex marriage because the sacrament of marriage can only be between a man and a woman. Where is the radical shift, then?

What the Pope was proposing was the need for a law to protect same-sex unions because they are entitled to raise a family of adopted children. Indeed, those in same-sex relationships also need protection in law. My gulay, this should not mean the Pope is endorsing same-sex unions!

* * *

As a lawyer, I read about the case of Senator Leila de Lima with great interest. She has been detained since February 2017 for allegedly benefitting from the illegal drugs trade. She is accused of transacting with convicted drug lords at the New Bilibid Prison when she was Secretary of Justice in the administration of President Benigno Aquino III.

I think the senator should be released or, at the very least, allowed to post bail.

As reported in media, two prosecution witnesses – one from the Anti-Money Laundering Council and one from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency – failed to link De Lima to the alleged trading of illegal drugs. There is no case!

Of course we all know why De Lima has been detained at Camp Crame for more than three years now. She claims it is in retaliation for her investigation of alleged human rights violations of President Duterte when he was still Davao City mayor. De Lima also used to be chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights.

I support the call of Senators Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros to free De Lima. Her case has crumbled. The evidence against her is so weak.

* * *

Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta claims that the pending election protest of former Senator Bongbong Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo will be decided before October 2021, before the filing of the certificates of candidacy for the 2022 elections.

The Marcos protest has been pending before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

Marcos protested Robredo’s narrow margin in the race for the vice presidency, alleging fraud and violence in Basilan, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur. Originally, the ponente was Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa, but when he retired, the task went to Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.

It is not known who will preside over the Marcos protest, but with the expose that Leonen has already pre-judged the case, the case should be raffled off to another justice.

In any case, we can now expect a resolution of the case.

* * *

With the easing of health protocols, there is now also a call to relax the stay-at-home order for senior citizens. My wife and I belong in this category.

Santa Banana, we have been quarantined for many months now! Not that we are complaining – we don’t have to spend so much going to mall and eating out, or buying things we don’t need. I have not used my credit card for a long time now.

It is the senior citizens who have to go out and earn a living that I pity.

Has the Inter-Agency Task Force forgotten the elderly?

* * *

The United States elections are peculiar. The polls can’t predict who will win. This is because it is the electoral college that determines the winner. Whoever gets the most number of votes among Americans does not necessarily win.

Topics: Emil Jurado , Pope Francis , same-sex civil union , Leila de Lima , Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta
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