DOJ won’t meddle in De Lima cases vs ex-DOJ execs

By: Jacob Lazaro - Philippine Daily Inquirer | December 02,2023 - 05:45 PM

DOJ Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jose Dominic Clavano for story: DOJ won’t meddle in De Lima cases vs ex-DOJ execs

DOJ Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jose Dominic Clavano. file photo / Tetch Torres-Tupas

Filing complaints, even against former Department of Justice (DOJ) secretaries, are well within former Sen. Leila de Lima’s rights, DOJ spokesperson Dominic Clavano said on Friday.

“You know, she has her rights, and we’re not going to [interfere]. She’s at liberty to do what she wants. So, you know, the justice system, it worked for her, and I believe it will work again,” he said in an interview.

This was in response to inquiries about De Lima’s complaint in the Ombudsman against her predecessors, former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and, current Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra, for giving immunity under the witness protection program to convicted criminals who testified against her in drug-related charges.

The Court of Appeals (CA) recently ordered the Ombudsman to act on De Lima’s complaints after the agency initially junked them. The CA reversed the Ombudsman’s decision saying they were “void for lack of due process.”

Guevarra in an interview with CNN Philippines on Friday said he has yet to receive any official communication from the Ombudsman about the complaint.

Leave it to proper forums

“But the next course of action on my part, at the very least, is under study,” he said. When asked if this in any way affected the integrity of the Justice department considering De Lima herself was also a justice secretary under former President Benigno Aquino III, Clavano said they will leave it to the courts to settle the conflicting claims.

“There’s the claim there’s no irregularity, on the other side, there’s a claim of irregularity, so we’ll just have to leave it to the proper forums,” the spokesperson said.


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TAGS: complaints, De Lima, DOJ, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Vitaliano Aguirre II

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