Former Vice President Leni Robredo and writer Teddy Casiño stated on Friday that the verdict of not guilty for ex-senator Leila de Lima in her second drug-related case signifies that her only wrongdoing was to have the courage to fight for what is just and right.
Following the decision of Branch 204 of the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court to clear the former senator of any involvement in drug trafficking, Robredo expressed her confidence that De Lima has always been innocent from the beginning.
This statement was made just a few hours after the court’s verdict.
During her time as Justice Secretary under former President Benigno Aquino III, De Lima was accused of benefiting from the drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison.
She faced three drug-related cases due to these allegations.
De Lima’s supporters, on the other hand, believed that these charges were political retribution after criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
“Tagumpay ito ng katotohanan pagkatapos ng mahigit na anim na taon ng paninira at kasinungalingan laban kay Sen. Leila, na ang tanging kasalanan lang ay ang matapang na pagtindig para sa tama,” Robredo said.
“Simula pa lang, buong-buo ang aking tiwala sa kawalan ng kasalanan ni Sen Leila. Sa kabila ng anim na taon na siya’y inipit at pinahirapan, nanindigan ako na darating ang araw na mababawi niya ang kanyang kalayaan at mabuting pangalan,” she added.
Meanwhile, Casiño said De Lima didn’t really do that because she was detained for so long.
I’m not calling Sen. Leila de Lima’s acquittal a triumph of justice and rule of law. She has been jailed for six years and counting on fabricated, false charges. She never deserved even one second in jail.
— Teddy Casiño (@teddycasino) May 12, 2023
LEILA DE LIMA SHOULD BE FREED
On the eve of the promulgation of the second trumped up case against Sen. Leila de Lima in Muntinlupa RTC No. 204, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan is once again calling for the dismissal of the case & Sen. de Lima’s immediate release from jail.(1/6)
— Teddy Casiño (@teddycasino) May 11, 2023
Robredo, who was a presidential candidate in the 2022 national elections, has consistently demanded the release of De Lima. This is particularly after key witnesses withdrew their testimony against her.
Kerwin Espinosa, a convicted drug lord, and Rafael Ragos, a former Bureau of Corrections chief, admitted in 2022 that they were pressured to implicate de Lima. Last May, after their testimonies were withdrawn, Robredo argued that de Lima should not remain at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center.
In the 2022 senatorial elections, De Lima ran for re-election under Robredo’s ticket but was unsuccessful in securing a spot in the Magic 12.