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Stop Duterte, De Lima asks SC

  • Written by Bernadette E. Tamayo With Hector Lawas
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 216

ACCUSING President Rodrigo Duterte of slowly “killing” her figuratively, Sen. Leila de Lima has filed a petition for writ of habeas data asking the Supreme Court to stop him from securing private details of her personal life and using them to degrade her dignity.

In a 26-page petition, De Lima asked the high court to enjoin the President and his representatives from collecting information about her private life outside the realm of legitimate public concern.
   
Thhis is just part of a series of charges that she will file against the President. She, however, declined to elaborate.
   
”I cannot disclose. Suffice it to say, my legal team is preparing other cases to be filed. It is not advisable telegraphing our moves,” said De Lima in a press briefing.
   
De Lima appealed to the Supreme Court to disclose to her the “name of the country” which, according to Mr. Duterte, helped him listen to her private conversation, the manner by which he listened to it, and the sources of information about her private affairs.
   
She said that this shows that the President has been collecting information about her private life “through unlawful means in order to achieve unlawful ends — to vilify and shame her in public.”
   
De Lima said that these illegally-obtained pieces of private information should be “deleted, destroyed, or rectified.”
   
”He started doing to me, slowly, what was done to victims of extrajudicial killings: he was killing me. Not even figuratively, but literally,” she said.
   
De Lima said that the President even admitted it. “He wanted to drive me to suicide. He had imposed his own brand of death penalty by bullying.”
   
”Berdugo. For the last few months, I faced my executioner. And his name is Rodrigo Roa Duterte. And, for a time, he succeeded,” she said.
   
In her petition, De Lima cited several specific occasions where the President has repeatedly subjected her to “crude” personal attacks.
   
“These verbal attacks and threats against me are not covered by presidential immunity from suit because they are not the official acts of a President. They constitute unlawful, unofficial conduct that has nothing to do with his duties,” she said.

‘Groundbreaking case’                                 
   
De La Salle University (DLSU) College of Law dean Jose Manuel Diokno, who serves as De Lima’s legal counsel described de Lima’s petition as a “groundbreaking case” since it has not been done before.
   
“Immunity cannot be used to block this case. There is a blatant violation of the magna carta for women, code of conduct for public officials,” Diokno said.
   
He noted the President’s poor conduct that constitutes sexual harassment, psychological violence and slut-shaming against women.
   
“We hope the Supreme Court will listen to the plea of Senator de Lima and give consideration to this petition because we believe it is of groundbreaking importance,” he added.
   
De Lima officially revealed her plan to file charges, particularly against the President last Oct 11. The writ of habeas data covers the violation of rights to privacy, liberty or security of a public official.