Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said yesterday that it was high time for a gag order on the cases of detained Sen. Leila M. de Lima, following the Department of Justice’s request to the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court to prohibit all parties from discussing them in public.
Panelo said De Lima has been using the absence of a gag order to ‘besmirch’ the reputation of President Duterte.
“Oh yes, because De Lima is using that medium to besmirch the reputation of the President. She cannot do that,” he said over Radyo ng Bayan.
Panelo also said that De Lima’s lawyers are conditioning the minds of the public with their remarks on the senator’s drug cases.
“Eh ganoon nga ang ginagawa nila. Kaya dapat talaga pabayaan na lang nila ‘yung courts na mag-try ng kaso,” he said. “Let the judicial process run its course.”
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the DoJ request for a gag order 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 in a text message. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)