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What chutzpah!

Ninez Cacho-Olivares

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For a self-styled “politically persecuted martyr,” detained Senator Leila de Lima, through her words and actions, is highly demanding, as she refused even to respond to questions from the Ombudsman and to provide him with her explanation on the guidelines of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law, as well as its implementing rules and regulations (IRR). She, as then Justice secretary, along with then Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, had crafted the IRR, which incidentally have caused the controversy over the release of convicts who committed heinous crimes.

De Lima questioned whether she was being asked to answer as a respondent and stressed that if she were in an administrative complaint, the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over her as a senator.

De Lima claimed that from the Ombudsman’s letter to her, it is unclear whether Martires was asking her as a resource person or as a respondent.

If she is being asked as part of a criminal investigation, De Lima said she would just wait for a subpoena, adding that “in the absence of my person in whatever proceeding your office is conducting on the matter is still premature.”

What nerve this woman has. She still has the gall to portray herself as being a politically persecuted prisoner when she virtually orders the Ombudsman, who incidentally certainly has jurisdiction not just on her, but also on all government officials, former and current, including her, a current senator and a former Justice chief who holds the reputation of filing trumped up charges against her yellow patron’s political foes while protecting his and her yellow allies.

In refusing to respond to the Ombudsman’s queries, De Lima said the Ombudsman, through his office which is conducting an investigation into the GCTA issue, should direct their questions on the GCTA guidelines to the Department of Justice and not to her, stressing that she is no longer the Justice chief and refusing to reply to questions that pertain to official business of the DoJ in her capacity as a senator.

Yet various officials have already claimed that the GCTA’s IRR were not properly scrutinized during the time of De Lima and Roxas.

De Lima stressed that Ombudsman Samuel Martires instead should require the explanation demanded of her from DoJ chief Menardo Guevarra, since she does not have the access to the records of the Bureau of Corrections and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology officials who worked on the IRR, nor does she have access to the records of their proceedings.

De Lima even had the chutzpah to state that the IRR in question was issued as “an institutional output of the DoJ together with the Department of the Interior and Local Government,” insisting that the IRR was not issued in her personal capacity as a lawmaker.

That’s a lot of bull and she knows it. She is doing all she can to evade responsibility and accountability.

She may be a senator, and a detained one at that, but hell, any moron can tell that the IRR was not crafted in her time as a senator, but in her capacity as then President Noynoy Aquino’s Justice chief!

That woman even now claims that she has no access to the members of the panel that drafted the IRR, without however, naming them. Now, the detained Leila even wants to lay the blame on the panel members, and not on herself!

Talk about evading responsibility and accountability, and one can point to De Lima, who is currently detained in the Philippine National Police Custodial Center on her alleged involvement in the New Bilibid Prison drug trade.

Just who does De Lima think she is, passing on the explaining job to the incumbent DoJ chief who had no role in crafting the controversial IRR of the GCTA Law, especially as it was Leila who definitely crafted the IRR together with Roxas?

Martires made clear that he wanted De Lima to explain “why the foregoing provision in the IRR does not contain the same disqualifications as enumerated in the last paragraph of Article 29 of the Revised Penal Code, and amended by Section 1 of RA 10592.” This provision holds that recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees and persons charged with heinous crimes are ineligible for GCTA.

So why should Guevarra be made to explain something which he was not a party to and cannot possibly explain why the IRR did not include the disqualifications?

Martires really shouldn’t allow De Lima to get away with it. She had already gotten away too many times as the yellow President’s injustice chief.

De Lima should be made to explain her role in crafting the IRR. For all one knows, her yellow patron may just be behind all this!

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