SENATE President Vicente C. Sotto III and two other senators filed a resolution rebuking members of the United States House of Representatives, following what they deemed to be moves by US lawmakers to interfere with the Philippine judicial process.
Philippine Senate Resolution No. 1037, dated April 10, was a response to US House Resolutions 233 and 142, which proposed the release of detained Senator Leila M. de Lima and drop the charges against Rappler Chief Executive Officer and executive editor Maria A. Ressa.
“Sen. de Lima and Ms. Ressa are but incidental to the intent of this resolution. They are entitled to fair justice and judgment by the courts handling their cases,” Senator Panfilo M. Lacson was quoted as saying in a statement, Thursday.
“But what we need to point out is that supremacism has no place in a civilized world regardless of race, color and status in wealth and power.”
Mr. Lacson and Senator Gregorio B. Honasan II are also among the authors of the resolution.
The Senators asserted that both the cases of Senator de Lima and Ms. Ressa have been filed in court and that the judicial process is underway.
It was also noted that, despite Ms. de Lima’s detention, she had been allowed, though with limitations, to function as a senator, particularly in filing bills and resolutions. She, however, has not been able to participate in the deliberation of legislative measures.
“In the case of Ms. Maria Ressa and Rappler, contrary to the statement that the filing of the cases against her are because of her being critical of the administration, the charges are filed against her for violating certain laws,” the Senate resolution read.
“She was even allowed to post bail on these cases to debunk the allegations that these were politically motivated cases.”
Ms. Ressa is currently facing charges of tax evasion and the violation of the Anti-Dummy Law, in connection with the Philippine Depository Receipts issued to Rappler partner Omidyar Network in 2015. — C.A.T.