De Lima drawing up ‘more detailed’ list of accusers, jailers

By: Christia Marie Ramos - | January 03,2020 - 11:56 AM

Senator Leila de Lima. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila de Lima is drawing up a “more comprehensive” and “more detailed” list of Philippine officials and personalities she believes are responsible for her arrest and detention, her chief of staff and lawyer said Thursday.

“I know that there is a list. I know that there is a comprehensive list being drawn up by the senator…meron pong more comprehensive, more detailed list si Senator De Lima,” lawyer Fhillip Sawali said in an interview with CNN Philippines’ “The Source.”

“It’s quite long and very meticulous po si Senator De Lima. Each and every entry po dun, she saw to it na may justification,” he added but opted not to divulge further details regarding the list.

This came after the approval of the US 2020 National Budget that included a provision banning US entry to Philippine officials proven to be involved in the senator’s “wrong imprisonment.”

Under the said provision, the “Secretary of State shall apply subsection (c) to foreign government officials about whom the Secretary has credible information have been involved in the wrongful imprisonment of… Senator Leila De Lima, who was arrested in the Philippines in 2017.”

The subsection (c) referred to is the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act of the United States.

The said act allows the US to impose sanctions—including denying of travel visas and the freezing and forfeiture of US assets—to foreigners proven to have committed human rights violations or acts of significant corruption.

De Lima earlier released an initial list of personalities whom she recalled have contributed to her arrest and detention.

The list includes President Rodrigo Duterte, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, former Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Sec. Mocha Uson, former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, congressmen Rey Umali and Rudy Fariñas, and former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.

It also includes Solicitor General Jose Calida, Public Attorneys Office chief Persida Acosta, EU-based pro-Duterte blogger Sass Rogando Sasot, pro-Duterte blogger RJ Nieto, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office board member Sandra Cam, and Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission chair Dante Jimenez.

The administration has repeatedly denied that De Lima was unlawfully detained.

Sawali, meanwhile, refused to comment on whether or not the US State Department had asked the detained senator for the list.

He, however, disclosed that they are in an “almost regular communication” with some staffers from the US Embassy in Manila.

“[It would be] Senator De Lima who can answer kung hiningan siya at ipinasa niya yung more comprehensive list with justification, kung ganun po yun,” Sawali said.

“But I would say po, personal opinion ko po, na it would be prudent naman na tanungin, konsultahin si Senator De Lima because Senator De Lima is the one who is personally and directly affected by all of these,” he added.

Sawali said he believes the US State Department may have already drawn up their own list.

“The State Department has a vast network of intelligence and information sources,” he pointed out.

“I would think na madali nilang magawa ‘yan. Kung hindi man nagawa na. Ang tingin ko po nagawa na,” he added.

Sawali, meanwhile, added that it would be up to the Secretary of State if even the judge and prosecutor in De Lima’s case would be covered by the ban.

“I don’t know if ultimately the State Department Secretary will consider the judge, even the prosecutor,” he said.

“There’s an ongoing discussion on whether these judicial and prosecutorial officer should be included in the list,” he added.

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TAGS: accusers, De Lima, drawing, jailers, list, more detailed, UP

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