“THIS IS where the real battle begins.”
This was the message of Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Thursday after the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 204 issued warrant of arrest against Senator Leila De Lima.
Panelo believes that De Lima is simply being hit by "karma" now that the Muntinlupa RTC found probable cause on her supposed involvement in drug proliferation inside the New Bilibid Prison when she was then Justice Secretary.
“The issuance of a warrant for the arrest of Senator De Lima means the issuing court finds probable cause that she may have probably committed the crime charged,” Panelo said.
“The law of karma has finally caught up with the senator in terms of being arrested and detained,” he added.
The Department of Justice has filed three cases against De Lima for violation of Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, in connection with her alleged drug links inside the national penitentiary.
Panelo said De Lima is about to suffer the same fate former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo suffered at the hands of the Aquino administration, under which the neophyte senator served as Justice Secretary.
“Unlike when she effected the arrest of former President [Arroyo], despite the absence of a criminal charge and a warrant of arrest, she will now be arrested and detained pursuant to a warrant of arrest issued by a competent court. She is being given due process, which she shamelessly denied [Arroyo] when she was Secretary of Justice,” he said.
De Lima investigated and led the prosecution of Arroyo for many cases, including the alleged sabotage of the 2007 national elections. She also prevented Arroyo’s medical travel to undergo cervical spine surgery in 2011, despite a restraining order issued by the Supreme Court versus a travel ban.
Panelo said the issuance of warrant of arrest against De Lima is compliant with the rule of law.
He added that the senator could now refute the allegation and submit evidence that would prove her drug involvement is not true.
The lawyer said De Lima should be given the opportunity to go home Thursday night to be able to ponder about her “sins”.
“Let her rest tonight and meditate on her sins of omission and commission that brought her to the rot she is in,” Panelo said.
“Hopefully, in her meditation, she will come to the realization on the validity of cardinal principle that what you sow is what you reap. She is now reaping the whirlwind of what she has sown,” he added.
Panelo issued the remark shortly after De Lima requested to allow her to spend the night with her family and promised to surrender to authorities on Friday.
De Lima has been ordered arrested on the basis of drug-related charges filed against her by the Department of Justice. (SunStar Philippines)