Malacañang blasted the San Francisco Board of Supervisors over a resolution it adopted condemning the flagship anti-illegal drugs campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte and criticizing the detention of opposition Senator Leila de Lima calling the calls as “toxic.”
The cases of Senators De Lima, Trillanes and Miss Ressa are being tried before our local courts
The board represents the legislative body of the main city of the state of California.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo branded the legislative body’s move a “toxic and unacceptable intrusion’ into the Philippines” legal processes and an “outrageous interference with our country’s sovereignty.”
“It is astonishingly incredible and amazingly perplexing why men and women of arts and letters such as the San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors could believe the false narratives as well as the bogus statistics cited in the Duterte administration’s war on drugs, fed to them by biased news agencies, anti-Duterte trolls and a biased alleged labor and environmental activist from San Francisco and Richmond,” Panelo said.
“The resolution is a toxic and unacceptable intrusion to our legal processes and an outrageous interference with our country’s sovereignty,” he added.
The board approved a resolution last 23 April backing US House Resolution 233 authored by Congresswoman Jackie Speier and US Senate Resolution 142 sponsored by Senator Edward Markey.
The resolutions called for the immediate release of De Lima, detained over her alleged involvement in the illegal drugs trade while still service as Justice Secretary, and the dropping of all cases filed against online news outlet Rappler and its CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa.
Panelo reiterated anew that the charges against De Lima, Ressa and even Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV are already being heard before the courts which belong to separate and independent branches of the government.
“The cases of Senators De Lima, Trillanes and Miss Ressa, are being tried before our local courts, which belong to a separate and independent branch of the government. They have been afforded their rights to due process,” stated by the Palace official.
EJK a myth
“Their criminal prosecution is anchored on their transgressions of our laws and it has absolutely nothing to do with their being critical of the administration. Other harsher critics do not face any criminal complaint simply because they have not violated any law but just exercising their freedom of speech,” he added.
He likewise denied that killings connected with President Duterte’s unrelenting campaign against narcotics are state-sponsored, pointing out the dismissal and prosecution of police officers involved in killings.
Under the resolution, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors also condemned the government for its alleged “state-sanctioned extrajudicial killings (EJK) by police” which is the same line used by the detained senator and her backers prominently top Duterte critic Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
Panelo denied the EJK allegation and that the deaths were state-sponsored citing the case of the 17-year old Kian de los Santos who died at the height of the anti-narcotics campaign.
“For the San Francisco Supervisors’ education, extrajudicial killings or deaths arising from drug-related killings are absolutely not state-initiated nor sponsored, proof of which is the death of scores of policemen coupled with the serious injuries to hundreds of others,” Panelo said.
“The dismissal and prosecution of a Manila police officer for killing an epileptic in a false drug raid, together with last year’s conviction of three Caloocan police officers for the killing of a teenager, underscores the policy that this administration does not tolerate police abuse,” he added.
The resolution was meant to discredit the administration, according to Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III citing the absence of any basis for the document.
Densing then added the resolution was done by Filipinos who are against President Duterte.
“These are statements of a group of Filipinos or former Filipinos who are really anti-Duterte, they are very ‘liberal,’” Densing said.