SENATOR Leila de Lima need not to be concerned about her safety in case she is arrested for the drug trafficking complaints she is facing, but should not expect special treatment, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd said Wednesday.
“Definitely, she (de Lima) will be safe kung saan man (wherever),” Aguirre told reporters in an interview after his confirmation hearing.
Aguirre however said the senator should not expect to be detained in a facility with special amenities.
The Cabinet official could not say if de Lima would be detained at the Philippine National Police custodial center in Camp Crame where former senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. are jailed on plunder and graft charges.
The Justice secretary said that if de Lima was criticizing the supposed “special treatment” being accorded to high-profile convicts detained at Camp Aguinaldo, she should not ask for a different kind of treatment herself.
“We have to be fair to all,” he added.
Aguirre maintained that he did not approve the reported “perks” given to the convicts for testifying against de Lima. He said he merely directed Bureau of Corrections guards to do something with the ventilation of the Camp Aguinaldo facility after receiving reports that some of the inmates were suffering from hypertension.
De Lima has expressed fears for her safety, certain that she would be ordered arrested by the courts for her drug-trafficking case. She has begun packing her bags.
The senator said on Tuesday she had no intention to resist but her only request was that she be put in a safe and secure facility.
“My only request in case that eventuality happened, God forbid, is that I will be placed in a safe and secure place. A lot of things have been happening, there were those being killed inside their cell. So what is another EJK (extra-judicial killing)?” de Lima told reporters.
De Lima, accused of tolerating the drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison when she was Justice secretary in the previous administration, is being probed for supposedly violating Section 5 of the Dangerous Drugs Act (sale and trading of illegal drugs), a non-bailable offense if taken together with Section 26 (b) (conspiracy).
Aguirre on Wednesday said de Lima’s fear of being killed in jail like Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. was highly unlikely.
“Wala naman siguro (There is no such thing). I’m sure 99 percent,” the Justice Secretary said.