Sat. Jan 16th, 2021

Press Release
November 27, 2020

Dispatch from Crame No. 981:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement re: Authority of Executive to Investigate Other Branches of Government

Harry Roque said that Leila de Lima is “one of a kind” to get the special attention of Duterte’s alleged prosecutorial prowess. What he failed to mention was that the only prosecutorial skill that Duterte himself admitted to possess in abundance was the ability to plant evidence and intrigues. I am “one of a kind” only in the manner that I refused to suck up to Duterte like Roque and many others in government once Duterte started the mass murder of poor Filipinos at the start of his term.

I have only one question for Roque. Would his master have treated me as “one of a kind” if, like him, I sucked up to Duterte unconditionally and praised him to kingdom come as my very own Poon? I don’t think so. The elaborate fabrication that put me at the top of Duterte’s drug pyramid was only made possible because they knew I would not keep quiet. All that they wanted was for me to keep quiet, and the concerted kangaroo House hearing would go away. I refused, and the full, albeit corrupted, might of the Executive and Legislative branches was let loose by Duterte to demolish me completely.

Of course, the Executive has the power to investigate even congressmen and senators. The Revised Administrative Code of 1987 mandates the Secretary of Justice to “investigate the commission of crimes, prosecute offenders and administer the probation and correction system.” The only exception is the prosecution of public officials with Salary Grade 27, and higher, accused of crimes cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. In such case, the Office of the Special Prosecutor of the Ombudsman takes charge of the prosecution.

But even this does not prevent the DOJ through the NBI to conduct a fact-finding investigation against these officials and thereafter file a criminal complaint with the Ombudsman. This is what happened in the Napoles PDAF Scam cases where the DOJ filed criminal complaints against several senators and congressmen, based on the results of NBI’s fact-finding probe. I should know. I led the DOJ as its Secretary in the filing of these complaints with the Office of Ombudsman which, after its own independent assessment of the evidence, conducted preliminary investigation, and upon a finding of probable cause, filed the cases and prosecuted the same before the Sandiganbayan. .

In my case, however, the DOJ did not file the complaints against me with the Ombudsman. Instead, it conducted its own preliminary investigation and railroaded the same, filing the charges with the regular courts instead of the Sandiganbayan that has jurisdiction over offenses of public officials committed in relation to their public office.

Marami po talagang “one of a kind” sa kaso ni Leila de Lima. Kontra sa sinabi ni Duterte kamakailan na wala siyang kapangyarihan na imbestigahan ang mga congressman at mga senador, binuhos ni Duterte ang buong kapangyarihan ng gobyerno para lamang ipakulong ang kalaban sa pulitika. Ganito lang naman kasimple yan. Inutil si Duterte sa katiwalian ng mga kakampi niya at sipsip sa kanya. Pero pagdating sa mga kalaban, walang batas ang makakapigil sa kanya na gawan ng mga inimbentong kaso ang mga ito.

May kasabihan tayo: ang isda ay nahuhuli sa sariling bibig. In the case of Harry Roque, “one of a kind” is an admission of this regime’s policy of selective justice, corrupt persecution and targeted oppression.

Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 981, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatchno981

By Bureau