MANILA -- Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Friday shrugged off accusations leveled on him by detained Senator Leila de Lima, saying these were just rants coming from someone accused of heinous crimes.

De Lima has accused the new Palace spokesperson as a “truth-bender for hire,” a “political operator” and a “great disappointment to the human rights movement” among others.

The lady Senator is presently detained at the Philippine National Police custodial center in Camp Crame over her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.

“We do not wish to dignify the rants of someone accused of a heinous crime involving drug trafficking,” Roque said in a statement.

Roque -- who was among the lawmakers who probed into De Lima’s affair with his driver during the congressional investigation on the drug trade inside the Bilibid national penitentiary -- advised the detained senator to just focus on her case instead of engaging in partisan politics.

Besides the drug cases, De Lima is also facing ethics and disbarment cases at the Senate and Supreme Court respectively.

“We hope Senator Leila de Lima would just focus her time, energy and resources on her defense and in clearing her name before the court of law instead of engaging in partisan politics. After all, she is facing an uphill battle,” Roque said. (PNA)