De Lima’s petition is designed ‘to drown out accusations against her’ –Palace

MANILA, Philippines – Malacanang has described Senator Leila de Lima’s petition for writ of habeas data as her strategy to generate media attention from allegations over her involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs at the National Bilibid Prison (NBP).

De Lima filed the petition before the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday morning to stop President Rodrigo R. Duterte and other government officials from securing private details about her personal life and using them to build a case against the lady senator.

”Senator De Lima’s filing of a petition before the Supreme Court is calculated to generate media noise to drown out the accusations against her,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a text message to the Palace media.

In the House of Representatives inquiry into the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the NBP, several witnesses, including some high-profile inmates, claimed that De Lima, then Department of Justice (DOJ) secretary, was the protector of illegal drug trade inside the NBP.

After filing her petition for writ of habeas data, De Lima conducted a press conference and attended a forum titled “Laban Leila, Laban Kababaihan: A Forum on Habeas Data and Women’s Rights.”

Abella said De Lima “is apparently playing the gender card as a shield against mounting evidence of her ties with high-profile drug lords and the proliferation of drug trade in the Bilibid.”

”By portraying herself as a victim, she seeks to distance herself from the intimate relationships which were intertwined with drug trafficking while she was DOJ secretary,” Abella added. Jelly Musico/