De Lima could be cited for inciting to sedition — Panelo

MANILA — Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Thursday warned Senator Leila de Lima that she could be cited for inciting to sedition over her continuous tirades against President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Her continued and relentless tirades against President Duterte could lead to criminal liability for the commission of the crime of inciting to sedition,” Panelo said in a statement.

The President’s chief legal counsel said that under the law, “inciting to sedition refers to a crime committed by someone who, without taking any direct part in sedition, incites others to inflict any act of hate or revenge against the person of the President by means of speech, among others”.

On Tuesday, De Lima called President Duterte a “dictator” and a “sociopath serial killer” a day after SPO3 Arturo Lascañas recanted his earlier testimonies and admitted to having committed murders as a member of the Davao Death Squad (DDS).

The former Davao City policeman has also alleged that the DDS operated on orders of the then Mayor Duterte.

But Panelo dismissed Lascañas’ statements and said that they have already been repudiated before.

He pointed out that during the electoral campaign, “the issue of President Duterte’s alleged involvement on extra-judicial killings perpetrated allegedly by the Davao Death Squad has been repeatedly raised and discussed”.

“The electorate, in giving President Rodrigo Roa Duterte an overwhelming mandate, has factored such issue hence the people have spoken in repudiating such lie,” Panelo said.

The President’s chief legal counsel likewise advised the embattled senator to seek medical help.

“Senator Leila de Lima may be off her rockers when she described President Duterte as a ‘sociopathic serial killer’ and dictator’,” he said.

“Concerned with the mental and psychological state of Senator Leila de Lima, it is for her best interest that she engages the services of a competent medical professional to assist her in these trying times,” Panelo said.