DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Sen. Leila de Lima described the accusation that she coddled and financed the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf as “totally insane” and “outrageously ridiculous”.
“This latest accusation that I am a protector and financier of terrorists is not only totally insane but also outrageously ridiculous! It only exposes at how this administration could bend so low at digging in the imagined dirt that it fails to see the public laughing at them,” De Lima said in a statement Monday.
Last Friday, Sulu-based human rights activist Temogen Tulawie and another complainant who requested anonymity filed a case before the office of the Ombudsman for Mindanao against De Lima, Sulu Vice Gov. Abdusakur M. Tan, and lawyers Wendell F. Sotto and Mehol K. Sandain, and Edilwasif Baddiri.
All were charged for violating Republic Act 10168 or ”The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012”
Based on the affidavit of the complainants, De Lima, who was then justice secretary, and Sandain, who was then head of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, “made it appear on official records” that they were wrongly arrested due to mistaken identity of the four members of ASG.
The four ASG namely Sali Said, Mujibar ‘Bong’ Amon, Robin Sahiyal and Julhamad Ahadi, were said to be freed to serve as witnesses against Tulawie who has pending criminal cases against them before the Regional Trial Court Branch 19 of Manila back in 2009.
In a phone interview, Tulawie said that they would not file the complaint if they did not have “clear evidence.”
“If I do not have direct knowledge we will not do that. We have lawyers who studied that [the case], we found out that they have done wrong,” Tulawie said.
“That’s a formal complaint against them,” he added.
Tulawie challenged De Lima that if she wanted to face him and his co-complainant, “she can call for a public or senate hearing so that the whole country will know who is lying.”
“I am very convinced that they have done wrong that is why I filed a complaint,” he said.
De Lima, on the other hand, said that the case filed against her was just a “vicious game of political persecution character assassination.”
“Like many of you, I too am exhausted and disgusted at this administration’s obsession for manufactured lies and malicious conjectures to smear my integrity and damage my name,” De Lima said.
“But what is getting clearer to me and to most good people I know is that the administration’s demolition job against its political opponents is sinking to a new low to hide its own incompetence and recklessness to address more pressing national problems,” she said, referring to the administration of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte. (davaotoday.com)