Palace: De Lima using gender as shield vs drug link accusations

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella (right) says Sen. Leila de Lima (left) is using gender to shield herself from allegations that links her to illegal drugs. INQUIRER FILES

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella (right) says Sen. Leila de Lima (left) is using gender to shield herself from allegations that links her to illegal drugs. INQUIRER FILES

Malacañang on Monday said Senator Leila de Lima was using her gender as a “shield” to accusations that she was involved in the illegal drug trade.

“By portraying herself as a victim she seeks to distance herself from the intimate relationships which were also intertwined with drug trafficking while she was DOJ Secretary,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement released to media.

De Lima on Monday filed a case before the Supreme Court to test the immunity of President Rodrigo Duterte.

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READ: De Lima files test case vs Duterte’s immunity from suit

In her 20-page petition for habeas data, she said, “The verbal attacks on petitioner’s womanhood and threats on her person are not covered by presidential immunity from suit because they are not the official act of a President.”

Habeas data is a constitutional remedy that may be sought to protect the image, privacy and freedom of information of a person. It can also be used to find out what information is being held about a citizen.

Abella said De Lima’s move was merely “to generate media noise to drown out the accusations against her.”

Abella said De Lima’s move was merely “to generate media noise to drown out the accusations against her.”

De Lima, who previously investigated Duterte for his links to the Davao Death Squad, has been the President’s most vocal critic, especially in relation to  summary killings resulting from the administration’s war on drugs.

Meanwhile, Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo pointed out that De Lima was not being harassed by the President.

“The President is immune from the suit. Even assuming he is not, the petition has no basis,” he told reporters in Malacañang.

“The President is immune from the suit. Even assuming he is not, the petition has no basis,” he told reporters in Malacañang.

Panelo said if the President was not immune from suit then he would not be able to perform his tasks.

He also argued that the President’s move to link De Lima with her bodyguard was “necessary.”

“(He’s) trying to connect the link between the bodyguard and the senator. Why is the bodyguard having that influence or power,” he said.

De Lima accused Duterte of personal attacks that resulted in psychological violence and violations of Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. CBB/rga

[“source-ndtv”]

 

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