MANILA- Senator Leila de Lima on Sunday rejected the motion of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to issue a gag order on her cases, saying it would be a violation of her rights.
Photos courtesy of the Office of Senator Leila de Lima
In a handwritten note released to the media, De Lima voewed to “continue to speak on issues that matter.”
“Gagging me would be a violation of my rights. They cannot continue violating my rights,” De Lima said.
“I repeat—I cannot be silenced,” she added.
The DOJ had urged the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court to issue a gag order to prevent all parties in the drug case against De Lima from discussing its merits in public and in media platforms, stressing that this in in keeping with the sub judice rule.
De Lima also took a swipe at the “comical and flamboyant” Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo who backed the proposal for a gag order.
Panelo on Saturday reportedly accused De Lima of damaging the reputation of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Oh yes, because De Lima is using that medium to besmirch the reputation of the President. She cannot do that,” Panelo said in a radio interview.
The senator said Panelo’s approval of a gag order reinforces her belief that her detention is “primarily aimed at stifling my criticisms against this murderous and vindictive President.”
De Lima is detained at the Custodial Center in Camp Crame due to drug charges which she has repeatedly denied.