By Daniel Llanto | FilAm Star Correspondent
Solicitor General Jose Calida declared Sen. Leila de Lima “public enemy number one and the patron saint of narco-politics” as the Office of the Solicitor General joined the legal battle to pin down De Lima, the President’s arch critic, as having abetted and profited from the prison drug trade in her tenure as secretary of justice.
Calida thinks the Senator, who was in the U.S. to receive an award from human rights groups and addressed a conference on cultural diplomacy in Berlin, will eventually seek asylum abroad. This would mean an admission of guilt.
In a speaking engagement at the launch of the Coalition against Illegal Drugs on Monday, Calida said De Lima continues to abuse her powers as senator; hence, the need for him to lend his support to the prosecution.
“I am invoking the Solgen’s power as tribune of the people. I will lend the prestige and gravitas of my office to go after de Lima,” Calida said, adding that with the OSG weighing in, the cases against de Lima could be more solid and will proceed faster.
This is not political persecution prosecution, he stressed, and they are following the rule of law.The Coalition against Illegal Drugs was formed by various pro-Duterte and anti-drug groups which has a declared intent to pin down De Lima, allegedly for having used her past role as DOJ chief to abet the drug trade at the New Bilibid Prisons, and raising funds for her Senate campaign in the May polls.
Among the groups joining the coalition were the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, Citizens Crime Watch, Republic Defenders, United Filipino Seafarers and Conform Federalism. Also present at the launch and social media influencer and known Duterte supporter was Mocha Uson.
According to VACC Chairman Dante Jimenez, it is time for the groups fighting illegal drugs to band together for what he described as a crucial point in the campaign. The coalition challenged the DOJ to speed up the investigation of cases against De Lima. Coalition members said they are deeply dismayed by De Lima’s alleged disregard for legal processes.