Palace backs gag order in de Lima cases


MALACAÑANG on Saturday welcomed the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) move to seek a gag order on all parties in Sen. Leila de Lima’s drug trafficking cases before the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC).
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said de Lima’s camp has been taking advantage of the absence of a gag order to “besmirch the reputation” of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Oh yes, because de Lima is using that medium to besmirch the reputation of the President. She cannot do that,” Panelo told government-run radio station dzRB, when asked about the DOJ’s request for a gag order.

De Lima, who denies any hand in the alleged drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison when she was DOJ secretary, claims the Chief Executive was behind the criminal cases against her.

Panelo said de Lima’s camp should just let the courts try the cases. “Let the judicial process run its course,” he said.

In a statement, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella also welcomed the request of government prosecutors for a gag order but noted such motion was “nothing new.”

“The sub judice rule is a time-honored doctrine. Should the court grant the motion, we expect all parties to abide by it to preclude any undue pressure to the judge hearing the cases or any influence that may condition the minds of the public on the merits of the case,” Abella said.

The senator’s camp has gone to the media to discuss their disappointment with Muntinlupa RTC Branch 204 Judge Juanita Guerrero, insinuating that the trial judge issued an arrest warrant without studying the case.

De Lima, who is detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, is facing three drug trafficking cases in three different Muntinlupa courts over her alleged involvement in the New Bilibid Prison narcotics trade.

The senator, together with her ex-lover and former bodyguard Ronnie Dayan and former Bureau of Corrections chief Rafael Ragos, was ordered arrested by Guerrero on February 23. She, Dayan, Ragos and five others were indicted for alleged violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.


Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. If there is any mind conditioning involved at all regarding her case as she alleges, it originates from De Lima herself! Notice: unlike Revilla and Estrada and previously Enrile who had been generally silent during their incarceration and who showed respect to the rule of law by allowing the wheel of justice to take its due course, De Limas has been making a lot of fiery noises and opening her big mouth – her upper mouth, that is – even from behind bars and trying to inflame and influence the public through incendiary attacks against the President and trying to appear as a martyr. Yes, there should be a gag order imposed to stop her from conditioning the public’s mind through non-stop noises pertaining to her case. There’s nothing wrong with a gag order as it would apply to both parties, De Lima’s and the prosecution. And it certainly does not infringe on her so-called ‘freedom of speech’ (which is nothing more than an attempt to overly giving a personal political color to her present self-caused predicament) which is plainly crap! The public must not be misled and fooled by the noises from De Lima and turned into her sounding board to advance her own political agenda. Enough!