MANILA -- Lawmakers have weighed in on the Supreme Court ruling rejecting Senator Leila de Lima’s petition to recall the arrest warrant issued against her.
Kabayan Partylist Rep. Harry Roque said the SC ruling is an affirmation that the country’s justice system is working.
“It proves that even a big fish can be held to pay for her criminal acts. It’s a triumph of the rule of law,” Roque said.
House Justice Committee chair Reynaldo Umali said that while he felt bad for his sorority sister, the decision was already expected considering there is a legal basis to detain De Lima over a drug case.
“I feel bad for her, but it was somewhat expected because the warrant issued by the court provided the legal basis for her detention,” Umali said, who was also a former party mate of De Lima in the Liberal Party.
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said the embattled senator should consider filing a “strong” motion for reconsideration to reverse the 9-6 ruling.
“A motion for reconsideration should be forthcoming for Senator De Lima. I don’t know how the voting went, (but) it’s a close call,” Lagman said.
Meanwhile, two senators said they were saddened by the decision of the Supreme Court to reject the motion of detained Senator Leila de Lima to recall the arrest warrant issued against her.
Voting 9-6, the SC en banc rejected De Lima's motion to recall her warrant of arrest issued by a Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court.
“Nakakalungkot ang desisyon. Ganun pa man, tuloy ang laban para palayain si Senator Leila De Lima sa pagkakapiit gamit ang mga peke at walang basehang kaso (It’s sad to hear the decision. Despite this, the fight to free Senator Leila De Lima from a fake and baseless cases continues),” Senator Risa Hontiveros said in a statement.
Hontiveros said De Lima’s legal counsel is already preparing a motion for reconsideration.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, said that he respected the decision of the SC but pointed out that he still believed that it was the Ombudsman that had jurisdiction to De Lima’s case.
“Ang aking paniwala ay dapat Ombudsman ang mag-hear nito (I believe it should be the Ombudsman to hear this case). But I respect the decision of the Supreme Court,” Drilon said.
Drilon, a lawyer and former justice secretary, said he disagreed with the SC decision but would respect it.
He, however, said that it was not a dead-end for De Lima yet because she could still file a motion for reconsideration. Moreover, he suggested that some of the justices should inhibit.
In a joint statement, the Liberal Party (LP) said that they regretted the SC decision and stressed anew that the issue of jurisdiction is at the heart of the case because it involves the legal authority to pass judgment on a case.
“We regret the decision of the Supreme Court dismissing the petition of Senator Leila De Lima to transfer her case to the Office of the Ombudsman from the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court,” LP said in a statement.
“We cannot have the wrong court trying and handing the fate of a case,” they added.
The party also maintained that they continue to believe that De Lima is innocent and is “simply a victim of political persecution.”
“Again, we express full faith that our Justices will be convinced that freeing Senator De Lima is the correct and just way forward,” the LP said. (PNA)