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Friday, February 24, 2017

Panelo: Karma has caught up to De Lima

Published February 23, 2017 5:58pm

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Thursday described the arrest warrant from a Muntinlupa court against Senator Leila De Lima as karma catching up to her for her treatment of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

In a statement Panelo said that the warrant means that De Lima is being given due process, which he said Arroyo did not receive when the senator was still the Justice Secretary. 

"Unlike when she effected the arrest of former President GMA despite the absence of a criminal charge and a warrant of arrest she will now be arrested and detained pursuant to a warrant of arrest issued by a competent court. She is being given due process which she shamelessly denied FPGMA when she was Secretary of Justice," he said. 

"The law of karma has finally caught up with the Senator in terms of being arrested and detained," he added.

Panelo is known to be close to Arroyo, sharing on social media photos of him attending her birthday party last April.

The government in November 2011 stopped Arroyo from leaving the country for Hong Kong even after the Supreme Court allowed her to seek medical treatment for her spinal problem. De Lima said authorities needed to stop the Arroyos from leaving the country.

Panelo, meanwhile, maintained that De Lima is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

"She, however, remains constitutionally presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, a presumption she viciously denied the critics of the previous administration," he said.

He reiterated that the De Lima should use the situation to her advantage and prove that she did not play any role in the proliferation of drugs in the New Bilibid Prison.

"?The issuance of a warrant for the arrest of Senator de Lima means the issuing court finds probable cause that she may have probably committed the crime charged. She should welcome this development herself as she is now given the opportunity to refute any and all allegations and/or evidence to be presented by the prosecution against her," he said.

"This is where the real battle begins and not in the media that she relishes to use against the President. The rule of law, as President Duterte keeps on harping every time he has the opportunity, must prevail," he added. —JST, GMA News


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