- Sen. Risa Hontiveros defended Sen. De Lima after a lookout order was issued against her by the DOJ
- Hontiveros said that the lookout order should not have been filed because no formal charges have been filed against De Lima
- She added that De Lima has been unduly criminalized by the lookout order
Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday criticized the lookout order issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Senator Leila de Lima.
According to Hontiveros, De Lima is being unfairly criminalized by the lookout order since she has not yet been officially charged in court by her accusers.
De Lima has been accused of protecting the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in exchange for drug money during her term as the head of the DOJ.
She was also accused of ordering the drug lords inside the Bilibid to raise money for her election campaign before she ran as a senator in the recent election.
“The first time this order was implemented was in 2011 against several DBP (Development Bank of the Philippines) officials who were officially charged as a result of a behest loans controversy. The same thing can’t be said of Sen. De Lima,” Hontiveros pointed out.
She added that even though the order would not prevent De Lima from going abroad, it might still give the public an impression that De Lima has been officially charged with criminal acts.
Hontiveros ran for senator under the Liberal Party which De Lima also belongs to. Both of the senators are also advocates for human rights in the country.
De Lima has already expressed her plan to take legal action against DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II for issuing a lookout order against her.