Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said he wishes that detained Senator Leila de Lima will not get convicted for her drug charges before the election season or else her plans to seek reelection will be foiled.
Roque made the statement after De Lima bared her plans to run for Senate anew to continue her fight for human rights and social justice.
In his press briefing on Wednesday, July 21, Roque said it was De Lima’s right to run for a national post.
“Kung tatakbo po siya, that’s her right hangga’t hindi pa siya convicted with finality (If she will run, that’s her right as long as she is not yet convicted with finality),” he said.
“Sana hindi siya ma-convict with finality bago dumating ang eleksyon (I hope she won’t be convicted with finality before the elections),” he added.
In an open letter addressed to President Duterte ahead of his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 26, the detained senator insisted that she was a victim of political persecution.
Roque, however, reminded De Lima that she was not.
“Wala pong political persecution. Alam naman ni Leila de Lima bilang abogado (There’s no political persecution. She knows as a lawyer) that she’s not accused of politically related crimes,” he said.
“Akusado po siya (She is accused) because of the heinous crime of drug trading– drug pushing and drug trading. Wala pong politika diyan (There’s no politics there),” he added.
De Lima, a known critic of the President, has been behind bars for more than four years now over drug charges filed against her by the Department of Justice (DOJ) before a court in Muntinlupa.
She is facing two cases of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading before Branch 205 of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court. The court dismissed one case.