BELEAGUERED Sen. Leila de Lima intends to file charges against certain personalities for “falsely” accusing her of receiving drug money from convicted criminals at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) supposedly to fund her senatorial bid during the last national elections.
De Lima expressed her desire to pursue charges against these persons, whom she declined to identify, for tainting her reputation as she also lamented that her safety has been compromised by their allegation that she had protected convicted drug lords while she was still secretary of the Department of Justice.
Asked if she will file charges against her accusers, who include Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, De Lima said: “I’m mulling over several legal actions. (I might apply for) writs of amparo and habeas data.”
The petition for a writ of amparo is a remedy available to any person whose right to life, liberty and security is violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity.
The writ of habeas data is a remedy available to any person whose right to privacy in life, liberty or security is violated or threatened by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity engaged in the gathering, collecting or storing of data or information.
“I’m now subject of persecution. I’m no longer safe. The truth is I’m not safe. Can I rely now on the PNP, NBI as my security? Can I rely on the Armed Forces for my security?” she asked during a press briefing.
“So, what is my choice? They are violating my right to security,” said De Lima. During the recent House of Representatives investigation into the drug trade inside the NBP, Aguirre and convicted drug lord Herbert Colanggo testified that De Lima received “payola” from drug traffickers to finance her senatorial campaign.
De Lima complained that she had been receiving hate text messages from people she did not know. Pressed whether she will seek additional security detail from the Senate, she said: “I’ll take it up with the Senate President (Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III).”
She also rejected calls for her to resign. “Should I? Ako ang ginigipit nila sa mga walang katuturan na mga akusasyon nila and then ako ang magre-resign? I don’t want to speak further baka kung ano pa ang masabi ko, lalong magagalit yang mga yan,” she said.
De Lima said that she has transferred to a “temporary abode” due to safety issues. “Apektado ‘yung subdivision (kung saan ako dati nakatira). Nadadamay sila because of me.”