De Lima to SC: Drug case 'clear pattern of persecution, not prosecution'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 18) — Sen. Leila de Lima made her final appeal on Monday before the Supreme Court would resolve her petition to allow her to leave detention.

In her manifestation, De Lima said the case filed against her showed a "clear pattern of persecution not prosecution."

She argued that she'd been deprived of her right to be presumed innocent — as no less than President Rodrigo Duterte had already declared her guilty.

This was followed, she explained, by the House investigation on the New Bilibid Prison drug trade.

"This led to the presentation of witnesses, most of whom are criminals who admitted to their alleged participation in the crime but who were not themselves indicted on the government's claim that they are state witness," De Lima's lawyers explained in the manifestation.

De Lima said not a single convict was qualified to testify as state witnesses under "whatever law of the Republic."

She explained they were all criminals convicted by final judgment for crimes involving moral turpitude.

She said her case was special not because it involved a senator.

"She is not asking for any special consideration because of her public position or because she is in jail. She seeks only the fundamental right of every citizen to invoke the Constitution as shield and sword against government abuse," her memorandum read.

What made her case special, she pointed out, had nothing to do with her — but everything to do with the government officials who were going after her.

The detained senator pointed out it's only the high court that was  capable of stopping such abuse of power.