Palace debunks ex-President Aquino over De Lima's "worthy causes"
Malacanang rebuked on Monday former President Benigno Aquino III for urging the Filipinos to continue to support detained Senator Leila de Lima's "worthy causes."
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace takes note of the opinion of Aquino on De Lima.
But he added, "with all due respect to the former president, Senator Leila de Lima is not fighting for her principle and was not detained because of her political beliefs."
"The lady Senator was arrested and incarcerated because of serious drug charges where she was accused of allowing the illegal drug trade to proliferate inside the National Bilibid Prison when she was the DOJ (Department of Justice) Secretary," Roque stressed.
Aquino's lauding of De Lima's leadership was contained in the senator's first electronic book entitled "Dispatches from Crame I."
In the book, which is on its special reprint, Aquino recalled that when he was growing up, it was inculcated to him that a leader should have a clear stand and direction.
He said it is difficult to have a leader who always changes his position in the end.
In the case of De Lima, Aquino said she has a "clear principle."
With the situation that De Lima is now into, it is clear that she has been fighting for the Filipinos, he said as he urged the people to support the senator.
De Lima has been detained in Camp Crame police headquarters since February last year for allegedly violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
During her stint as secretary of justice, she allegedly received kickbacks from the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison.
De Lima denied the allegation, saying she has been politically persecuted for her stance against President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody war on drugs and his alleged human rights violations when he was still the mayor of Davao City. Celerina Monte/DMS