Government lawyers on Friday filed a petition for indirect contempt against detained Senator Leila de Lima and her defense counsel Filibon Tacardon for disinforming the public in the cases against her for alleged involvement in the illegal drugs trade in the New Bilibid Prison while she was Justice secretary.
In a 39-page petition for indirect contempt filed before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court, the panel of prosecutors led by Bataan Provincial Prosecutor Ramoncito Bienvenido T. Ocampo, Jr., asked the court to hold de Lima and her counsel liable for out of context statements they made in connection with the testimony of witnesses before the court, in violation of the so-called sub judice rule.
“Not only respondents Atty. Tacardon and Senator Leila M. De Lima continue(s) to disallow the sub judice rule, they took advantage of the mainstream media to publish the pronouncements intended to disinform or misinform the general public of the merits of the cases to the detriment of finding out the truth in each and every case,” the prosecutors’ petition said.
They added press statements made by de Lima commenting on the merits of the case following the presentation of witnesses, which they described as “an obvious attempt of respondents to condition the minds of the public and affect the court in finally decided on the criminal liability of the accused in its decision to these cases.” SOVEREIGNPH