Trillanes calls for De Lima's freedom

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 30) — Sen. Antonio Trillanes called on his colleagues to demand the release of detained senator Leila De Lima Wednesday.

In a privilege speech, Trillanes said it's been six months since De Lima's detention, something she didn't deserve.

"Gaya nating lahat, hindi perpekto si Sen. De Lima pero alam natin, deep in our hearts, na hindi siya involved sa illegal drugs at lalo nang hindi siya Drug Queen. Hindi po siya criminal para tratuhin na parang isang criminal," Trillanes said.

[Translation: Like all of us, Sen. De Lima is not perfect. But we know deep in our hearts that she's not involved in illegal drugs and she's not a Drug Queen. She is not a criminal, to be treated like one.]

Trillanes asked the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs to probe drug allegations against de Lima, as he said most of them have been unsubstantiated.

Trillanes also said De Lima's incarceration is a case of "political persecution", adding that her detention may be President Rodrigo Duterte's way of getting back at De Lima for probing the Davao Death Squad or the extrajudicial killings, or to create a chilling effect among the opposition.

"Kung nag-express tayo ng outrage sa pagpapalaya kay Supt. Marcos at kanyang mga kasamahan na maliwanag na nag-commit ng murder, dapat lalo tayong magalit sa ginawa at ginagawa kay Senator De Lima. By any established standard, that is injustice," he said, referring to Supt. Marvin Marcos who led the shootout in Albuera, Leyte, killing its mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.

[Translation: If we express outrage against the release of Supt. Marcos and his men who clearly committed murder, we should be angrier with what was done, and what is being done to Senator De Lima. By any established standard, that is injustice.]

De Lima, one of the President's staunchest critics, is detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame over charges related to illegal drugs. The senator has denied the accusations.

READ: De Lima detained in PNP custodial center

She was arrested February 24 over her alleged involvement in drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison during her time as Justice Secretary from 2010 to 2015.