By Mario Casayuran
Detained opposition Senator Leila de Lima Monday roundly criticized former Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. for labeling her a “drug lord” while boasting about his acquittal by the Sandiganbayan.
“Mr. Revilla shouldn’t be boasting too much about his acquittal, a non-unanimous one. Under certain circumstances, particularly on the political front, equating acquittal with innocence is fallacious,’’ she said.
De Lima said that what matters was one’s conscience and divine justice.
“He may have regained physical freedom, but he will never have the freedom of conscience, mind and spirit that I now enjoy, even while under detention. Tahimik at payapa ang aking kalooban dahil, di tulad ni Ginoong Revilla, wala akong nilabag na batas at lalong wala akong inangking pera ng bayan,’’ she stressed. (I have a clear conscience compared to Mr. Revilla. I did not violate any law and I did not pocket the taxpayers’ money.)
De Lima emphasized that the charges leveled against her were based on verbal accusations and from persons who were coerced or promised things in exchange for their testimonies against her, and drug lords who continue to enjoy privileges and protection for their illegal activities as payment for their false testimonies.
“Unlike the plunder and corruption cases filed against Mr. Bong Revilla and the others implicated in the Napoles PDAF Scam, which were bona fide indictments based on credible and freely-given testimonies of whistleblowers, backed by the findings of other independent institutions at the time, such as the Commission on Audit and the Office of the Ombudsman,” she said.
De Lima pointed out that the court has found that plunder was committed in the office of Revilla and he was liable for restitution along with his co-accused.
The court, according to de Lima, has directed Revilla to return P124.5 million taken from the pork barrel funds.
De Lima pleaded with those who continue to bash her to just focus on getting the attention of voters and to ingratiate themselves with President Duterte.
“I feel sorry for Mr. Revilla on his deliberate yet pathetic attempt to put the blame on me,’’ she added.