Trust process re De Lima, BBM urges

Filipinos must never doubt the country’s judicial process, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. stressed Friday as he said prosecutors must be allowed to handle the case of detained former senator Leila de Lima.

“The process is there,” the President said in thumbing down the clamor from De Lima supporters that he set her free or to, at least, allow her home furlough after surviving a hostage-taking.

Using his “legal powers,” as suggested by opposition lawmakers, would mean “interfering” in the illegal drug cases that De Lima is facing, he said.

“I think urging prosecutors to do one thing or another is interfering. I have said we are very, very clear that we have three departments of government,” Marcos said.

Mr. Marcos said he is limited to “monitoring the developments of the case” from an outsider’s perspective. He, earlier, offered to transfer de Lima to another detention center where she might feel safer.

“I spoke to her Sunday morning. I asked (Interior) Secretary Benhur Abalos to go and to find out that everything was okay, that she was okay,” the President recalled.

“And the reason I wanted to speak to her was I wanted to ask her if she feels safe. Because if she doesn’t feel safe, we’ll transfer her,” Marcos said.

De Lima, who has been detained for five years now, declined his offer, the President said.

In a social media post, the former senator and a staunch critic of former president Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday appealed to Marcos to order the Justice Department to “stop blocking the testimony of the recanting prosecution witness Rafael Ragos and for them to stop presenting obviously perjured witnesses like Herbert Colangco.”

“You can reverse the grievous wrongs inflicted on me by your predecessor. Please, Mr. President. Salamat po (thank you),” de Lima wrote in the post, maintaining her innocence.

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