Tell it to SunStar: Letter to Sievert

THIS refers to Jesus Sievert’s recent “Follow precedent” contribution in which he declares Senator Leila de Lima as “unworthy to get involved in Senate proceedings in any manner, shape and form.” He brought this up to agree with Sen. Bong Revilla’s assertion that “the scales of justice be kept even and steady because of a precedent.”

Sievert apparently refuses to see that de Lima is a victim of President Duterte’s misogynism and vindictiveness, as are former Chief Justice Meilou Sereno, Sister Patricia Fox and journalist Maria Ressa, all of them great assets to our country.

De Lima first enraged President Duterte in 2009 while still mayor of Davao City and she was chair of the Human Rights Commission investigating the Davao Death Squad (DDS) activities. Edgar Matobato, a self-confessed member of the DDS, said the plan was to kill her while she was to inspect a DDS murder scene, but it was not carried out.

Later she again enraged the President after he was elected and she was a newly elected senator. As chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, she planned to investigate the extrajudicial killings taking place in his war against drugs. That was when Duterte lowered the boom. He didn’t name her but talked about a female government official he claimed was “going to destroy in public.” Then he claimed she ran drug trade operations inside the New Bilibid Prison. He later apologized to the other officials he had implicated, admitting that the administration had been “negligent in counterchecking.” Only de Lima was not exonerated.

In 2014 while she was justice secretary, she led raids on the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa & removed the luxury items of 19 drug lords—saunas, cell phones, television sets, etc. Those same criminals were then used to pin drug charges against her.

It’s been obvious that the government apparatus was weaponized against her, especially when Duterte’s stooges in the legislature removed her as chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights.

Everyone knows corruption permeates every part of our government, but it’s sad that many folks like Sievert swallow, hook, line and sinker, the propaganda generated by this deplorable administration.


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