De Lima won’t bare list of accusers to avoid ‘preempting’ US
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila De Lima has started to draw up a list of people behind her arrest and detention, but she will not reveal the full list to avoid “preempting” the US State Department.
“I fully recognize that it remains the prerogative of the U.S. State Department, as mandated by the U.S. Congress, to come up with its own list based on credible information from its own sources,” De Lima said in a statement issued on Saturday.
“The final determination as to who will be part of the official list as subjects of the US entry ban lies entirely on said office. It may or may not publish said list,” she added.
De Lima said her list would be “merely recommendatory” and not at all binding on the U.S. government.
“For that reason, I cannot reveal my final list without preempting the U.S. State Department. I am not minded to do so in deference to them and their own policies and processes,” she said.
The senator’s lawyer, Fhillip Sawali, previously stated that De Lima was drawing up a “more detailed” list of accusers believed to be responsible for her arrest.
This comes after the approval of the U.S. 2020 National Budget, which has a provision banning U.S. entry to Philippine officials proven to be involved in De Lima’s “wrong imprisonment.”
The opposition senator also assured that her final list weuld be submitted to the U.S. State Department for consideration.
“I guess everyone knows by now, more or less, who are at the top of my list. Some of the names I’ve already mentioned in previous writings or dispatches of mine, which delve on the subject of my persecution and related matters. Media had reported such partial list,” De Lima said.
In her initial list, she included President Rodrigo Duterte, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, former Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, and former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, among others.
De Lima also assured that her list was not “ranting, wrathful, vengeful,” in nature.
“It is a serious list, with particulars on why the named personalities deserve to be on the list, meaning, their respective roles in my persecution that led to my wrongful imprisonment,” she said.
“The only colatilla is – there may be other names still unknown or undiscovered at this point, but were very much part of this whole Duterte project of persecution against me. We hope to name them also in due time,” she added. “No one, not even any of my staff, has seen my final list. I’m keeping it close to my chest at this point.”
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