MANILA – A senator on Tuesday cited the court's grant of bail to former Senator Leila De Lima as a testament that the Philippine justice system is working well.
In a statement, Senator Imee Marcos said this event should convince the International Criminal Court (ICC) that it does not need to continue the investigation into the reported killings during the drug war of former President Rodrigo Duterte.
"The independence of the judiciary is present and true. Our court is a court of law and justice, oblivious of personalities or any political noise. Senator De Lima’s bail yesterday was a testament to that," Marcos said.
"It bolsters my position mula simula pa (from the start), that the ICC has no jurisdiction over any Filipino -- lalo na kay (especially to) [former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte] PRRD. It has no business meddling with our justice system," she added.
Early this year, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. declared that the Philippines is “disengaging” from any contact and communication with the ICC after it rejected the country’s request to suspend its ongoing investigation into Duterte's drug war, saying the rule of law prevails in the Philippines and its criminal justice system is functioning fully.
Respect with disagreement
Meanwhile, Senator Ronald dela Rosa said he respects the court's decision to allow De Lima to post bail even though he does not agree with it.
"Well, kahit na (even) I don’t agree, but I cannot question the decision of the court. I have to respect it," dela Rosa said in an interview with GMA's Unang Hirit.
He said the decision does not mean that the cases filed against De Lima have no basis.
"In fact, nakasuhan siya, nalabasan ng warrant of arrest sa korte. Korte ang nagbigay ng warrant of arrest, ‘di ba? So hindi natin masasabi na walang basehan (she was charged, issued with a warrant of arrest by the court. The court issued the warrant of arrest, right? So we cannot say that it has no basis)," dela Rosa said.
De Lima was arrested in February 2017 for illegal drug charges, including an alleged agreement between the accused and New Bilibid Prison inmates to sell and trade illegal drugs to fund her 2016 senatorial bid.
Catholic prelates also welcome the court's decision allowing bail for the former lawmaker.
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Caloocan Bishop Pablo David said the ruling is good news but lamented the delay on the grant of temporary freedom to de Lima.
Meanwhile, former CBCP president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said the court’s decision is both a victory and blessing.
"The approval of the petition for bail of sen(ator) Leila is both a legal victory and blessing from the good Lord. Evil people have wounded her and tried their best to destroy her. She has stood firm against wrongdoing," he said. (with report from Ferdinand Patinio/PNA)