Bishop cries ‘injustice’ for jailed senator De Lima

May 2, 2022 - 1:06 PM
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Senator Leila de Lima at the Muntinlupa Hall of Justice on April 25, 2022. (Office of Sen. Leila de Lima)

A Catholic bishop has lamented what he called ‘serious injustice’ against detained Sen. Leila de Lima after a key witness in the government’s case against her recanted his statement implicating the senator to the drug trade.

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan said the allegations against de Lima prevented her from carrying out her electoral mandate for the past five years.

“The serious injustice committed against Sen. Leila De Lima is an injustice committed against the Filipino people,” said David, who is also the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

“She has not even been allowed to participate online in senate hearings,” he added.

De Lima has been in jail since 2017 after she began a Senate probe into the killings linked to President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war.

Self-confessed drug trader Kerwin Espinosa, one of the witnesses against de Lima, apologized to the senator and cleared her of any wrongdoing.

In a counteraffadivit, Espinosa said he made the allegations because he was “only coerced, pressured, intimidated, and seriously threatened by the police” in two Senate hearings in 2016.

The bishop also warned that not only those who made the “trumped-up charges” against De Lima will be accountable to God and the country but also those who remained silent and allowed it to continue.

RELATED: ‘Free Leila Now’: Calls for release of De Lima mount online amid Espinosa’s retraction