Panelo hits back at "ignorant" US senator Leahy

Panelo hits back at "ignorant" US senator Leahy

Presidential Spokesperson Atty.Salvador Panelo has a mouthful to the statement of US Senator Patrick Leahy when the latter said that senator Leila De Lima’s  detention is “politically motivated.”
Panelo called out Leahy as “ignorant” as he not well versed on the things that happened to De Lima that eventually led to her imprisonment.

“Senator Leahy’s statement assumes he has sufficient knowledge of our substantive and procedural laws that constitute our country’s justice system. It further assumes that he personally examined the record folder of the case and after evaluating it concluded that there was an abuse in the judicial process De Lima underwent,” Panelo said over the weekend.

Atty. Panelo and US Senator Patrick Leahy
(photo credit to remate)

“Both assumptions do not exist as the good US Senator is ignorant of our procedural rules subjecting a person charged with the commission of a crime. Neither has he set foot in the country for the sole purpose of personally examining the case of De Lima that he may have a reasonable basis to buttress his proposal,” he added.
On the issue of “abuse” the Presidential spokesperson who is also the Presidential Legal Counsel said
Leahy could have been referring to his own abuse of his freedom of expression by making a “baseless conclusion.”

“He waxes a false and malicious narrative against our government officials with unparalleled arrogance and without a glint of remorse,” Panelo said.
“That such totally baseless conclusion comes from a Senator of the United States of America, a country that prides itself as a bulwark of democracy and observer of due process,  is bad enough and a continuing disappointment. If Senator Leahy is a lawyer then that makes it worse and unpardonable,” he added.

No abuse of Power

Panelo rebukes the statement of Leahy that the current administration of Duterte abused its powers and made this prosecution of De Lima without due process.

“For the enlightenment of Senator Leahy, there would been abuse in the case of Senator De Lima if she was formally charged without the existence of a probable cause and if she was arrested without a warrant of arrest or if a warrant of arrest was issued by a judge without a finding of probable or if during the preliminary investigation she was not afforded the opportunity to submit countervailing evidence in her behalf,” Panelo said.
The Palace official also reminded Leahy that the Philippines is an independent country.
“We remind Senator Leahy that the Republic of the Philippines is not a vassal nor a colony of America. It is an independent state that is fiercely protective of its sovereignty and subservient to no other country,” Panelo said.

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Report from PNA

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