Guevarra maintains charges vs de Lima cannot be dropped

Published April 13, 2019, 11:19 AM

by AJ Siytangco

By Jeffrey Damicog 

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra stood pat on his position that charges against Senator Leila de Lima should not be dropped.

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra

Guevarra made his stance after being called by de Lima as the one ignorant of her case when he called American lawmakers misinformed for asking the Philippine government to drop the drug charges against her.

“I know the facts. I know the law. That’s all that that I need to know. I don’t care what the politicians say,” Guevarra stressed in a statement.

De Lima, who is a vocal critic of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, is facing three drug charges before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) concerning her alleged involvement in the narcotics trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

Believing that the administration concocted trumped up charges against its critics, US Senators Marco Rubio, Edward Markey, Richard Durbin, Marsha Blackburn and Chris Coons called on the government to drop charges against De Lima, as well as Rappler executve Maria Ressa.

“These five US senators have obviously been fed with wrong information,” Guevarra earlier said.

“Sen. de Lima and Maria Ressa were charged with violation of Philippine laws, were given ample opportunity to present controverting evidence, and were found to be probably guilty of the crimes charged,” he assured.

Guevarra added that the two are “now undergoing a fair trial in a court of law.”

In response to this, de Lima sad “the U.S. senators are better informed than him about my cases, if he has at all even bothered to familiarize himself with the cases his department has filed against me.”

“These senators know, while Guevarra apparently did not, that the whole government machinery, first and foremost the House of Representatives and the DOJ (Department of Justice), was mobilized by his boss to malign my reputation and fabricate criminal charges against me on the basis of the statements of convicted criminals