PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte will be the “principal respondent” in the case that Sen. Leila de Lima will file against several personalities who recently accused her of alleged involvement in the drug trade at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP).
She made the remark when asked about her supposed plan to pursue legal action against the people who had dragged her into the reported proliferation of drug trafficking at the NBP in Muntinlupa.
“That is settled already. Iyung mga kaso na ipa-file (ko) kasama ang Pangulo (Duterte), because he’s at the top of all this. Kagagawan niya ‘tong lahat,” said De Lima in a media forum.
“Do you think sina Secretary (Vitaliano) Aguirre, ‘yung mga imbestigador sa NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), ‘yung mga congressmen sa House (of Representatives) lalo na na ‘yun sa House committee actively participate in vilifying me publicly on national tv (television), si (House) Speaker Alvarez, the committee chair, my fraternity brod and the godfather of my eldest son, do you think they will do all this kung hindi ‘yan kagustuhan ng Pangulo? Of course not,” she stressed.
“So, siya (Mr. Duterte) ang principal respondent ko palagi sa mga kasong ipa-file ko. But as to exactly what are the causes of actions, ‘di ko p’wede ‘yan i-disclose because my lawyers don’t want me to do that,” said De Lima.
Asked whether she will file the charges against the President before the year ends, De Lima said: “Yes.” She added: “It’s sooner than you think.”
De Lima earlier expressed the desire to file before the Supreme Court a “test case” against the President, wherein he could not exercise his presidential immunity from suit.
She was referring to the petition for writ of amparo and petition for habeas data to compel the President to justify his accusation against her that she is involved in the drug trade inside the national penitentiary.
Drug charges were filed last Oct. 11 against her by the VACC (Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption) before the Department of Justice (DoJ).
The petition for a writ of amparo “is a remedy for protection of constitutional rights found in certain jurisdictions” while the writ for habeas data is based on a person’s right to information about himself or herself, whether the information is in the possession of the government or a private entity.