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DOJ tinuligsa ni De Lima sa pagtanggi sa pagbalik ng 11 PDLs sa NBP

MANILA, Philippines – Tinuligsa ni dating senador Leila de Lima ang Department of Justice (DOJ) sa pagtutol nitong ibalik ang 11 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) sa New Bilibid Prison.

Naniniwala si De Lima na nagpapakita lamang umano ang DOJ na kumakampi ito sa kanilang dating mga kalihim na sina Vitaliano Aguirre II at Menardo Guevarra sa mga bogus charges laban sa kanya.

“[The] DOJ wants the truth-telling by these witnesses to be made more difficult, by keeping them isolated and almost inaccessible from the hills of Sablayan Penal Colony in Mindoro, if only to prevent them from divulging who among DOJ officials, past and present, connived and conspired to fabricate testimonies and manufacture evidence in the three drug cases Duterte filed vs me,” ani de Lima.

Nauna nang ipinag-utos ng Muntinlupa court ang paglilipat sa 11 PDLs na tinukoy bilang witness laban kay De Lima, patungo sa NBP.

Ngunit ang DOJ, sinabi na mas nais nitong manatili sa Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm sa Occidental Mindoro ang 11 PDLs, dahil magmumukha umanong reward para sa mga ito ang pagbabalik sa kanila sa NBP dahil sa pagbawi nila ng testimonya laban sa dating senador.

Sinabi pa ng DOJ na, “Recantations are always looked unfavorably, not just by the [Supreme Court] but also by the legal system in general.”

Nilabanan naman ni De Lima ang pananaw na ito ng DOJ at sinabing ito ay totoo kung ang saksing nagbawi ng testimonya ay hindi ipinresenta sa cross-examination.

“But precisely, this is what the DOJ seemingly wants to avoid by keeping the inmate-witnesses isolated in Sablayan,” ani De Lima.

“The DOJ wants to prevent them from testifying again in court on their recantations to stop the identification of DOJ officials who played a crucial role in forcing them to lie & fabricate evidence in my cases,” dagdag pa niya.

“As convicted felons, they’re not ordinary witnesses, but they are also disqualified from testifying as state witnesses under Witness Protection Law. And yet the DOJ stood by them when it suited their purpose of singing the tune that they wanted,” pagpapatuloy ng dating senador.

“Now that they are recanting, DOJ is saying that they are convicted felons, and that their recantations are not credible. These are the same convict-witnesses DOJ said were credible when they followed what their handlers and the prosecutors wanted them to say.”

Sa pahayag nitong Biyernes, sinabi naman ng DOJ na ginagawa lamang nila ang sa palagay nila ay nararapat patungkol sa isyu.

“We are doing what we think is the right thing to do. Nothing more, nothing less,” pahayag ni DOJ spokesperson Mico Clavano.

Nauna nang sinabi ni Clavano na pinag-aaralan ng DOJ ang susunod na hakbang sa desisyon ng Muntinlupa court sa paglilipat sa 11 PDLs patungo sa NBP. RNT/JGC

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