Already a vocal advocate for the release of detained Senator Leila De Lima, labor leader and presidential candidate Leodegario “Ka Leody” De Guzman has underscored his call to free the persecuted senator.
“Pinatitibay ng pahayag ni Kerwin Espinosa ang aking paniniwala na ang mga akusasyon laban kay senador Leila De Lima ay pawang gawa-gawa lamang bilang ganti at upang patahimikin ang mga kritiko ng benggador at pasistang presidente (Espinosa’s statement reinforces my belief that the accusations against De Lima are false and only meant to silence critics of the vengeful and fascist president ),” De Guzman said in a statement sent to the media on Friday, April 29.
Espinosa, a self-confessed drug lord, bared on April 28 that his testimonies linking De Lima to illegal drugs were false and made under threat of harm to himself and his family by the police.
Read more here: https://mb.com.ph/2022/04/28/kerwin-espinosa-recants-testimonies-vs-detained-sen-de-lima-on-drugs-charges/
“Bagamat isang drug lord, ang testimonya ni Espinosa at iba pang katulad niyang kriminal ang natatanging ebidensyang ipinipresenta laban sa senador (Despite being a drug lord, testimonies by Espinosa and other criminals are the only forms of evidence presented against De Lima),” he continued.
“Ang kanyang karanasan sa mga tagapagpatupad ng batas - ang pananakot at pandarahas - ay kalakarang lumalaganap sa hanay ng kapulisan at administrasyon ni Duterte (Espinosa’s experience with law enforcement - intimidation and violence - is a trend of the police under the Duterte administration),” De Guzman explained.
De Lima, a human rights advocate and staunch crtitic of the Duterte administration, has been detained since 2017 amid allegations of ties to illegal drugs, ties which Espinosa just countered.
De Guzman himself has always been vocal in advocating for the senator’s release; he and running mate Walden Bello have even said that the first thing they would do if elected would be to free De Lima.
“Higit sa lahat, pinatitingkad ng kaso ni senador De Lima ang dispalinghadong sistema ng hustisya sa bansa. Karugtong ito ng panlipunang kaayusan na nakakiling at nagsisilbi sa mayayaman at makapangyarihan (Over everything, De Lima’s case proves that this country’s justice system is unequal. It only enables the social order which bends to serve the rich and powerful),” De Guzman added.
“Palayain si Leila De Lima. Hustisya para sa masang Pilipino (Free Leila De Lima. Justice for the Filipino masses),” he concluded.
In the upcoming 2022 national polls, De Guzman is running for president while De Lima, an incumbent senator, is vying for re-election.