Solicitor-General Jose Calida on Thursday said to probe the controversial photo of Senator Leila de LIma seated next to convicted drug lord Jaybee Sebastian in the New Bilibid Prison.
“Now what is a Justice Secretary doing in the kubol (cell) of this prison mayor? Could you give me an answer to that? You media people are very intelligent. Please help us because we will investigate the persons here (photo) if you can identify them. Is this appropriate for a Justice Secretary? To be rubbing elbows with a convicted felon? Tama ba ito (Is this right)? Of course not,” Calida said.
“And there are many other photos. Ito pa lang ang teaser.” Calida added.
On the other hand, Delima has also a feedback to what SolGen Calida statement, here it is:
“I denounce in the highest possible terms this latest demolition job linking me to maximum security inmate Jaybee Sebastian or to any other convicted or suspected drug lord or operator now or in the past,”Delima said.
“I categorically deny any insinuation of me extending any protection or accommodation to any criminal. My personal and professional records would belie all accusations hurled against me, which are obviously intended to malign my good name and reputation and to undermine the performance of my lawful duties as a Senator. Conduct meetings, and/or attend events or activities with all kinds of people in pursuance of official duties, similar to the much publicized meeting or encounter between PNP Director General Ronald de la Rosa and several convicts like Herbert Colangco, Peter Co, and Jaybee Sebastian.”
"That one meeting which was covered by the media at the premises of the National Bilibid Prison was also attended by other top officials of the DOJ, including the heads of attached agencies and BuCor officials,” De Lima added.
“At the sideline of the event, the ManCom members mingled with some inmates during certain activities on the same day as part of the reformatory program of BuCor. It is most likely where the photograph was taken and is now being shown by Calida out of context.”
“May I suggest for Calida to stop his fixation on ‘Throwback Thursday’ photos of me, and instead just start doing his real job of reading the 501-page decision on the West Philippine Sea case. You will be frustrated. While I have been patient with all the attacks, I will never be intimidated. Rather, I will remain steadfast in fulfilling my sworn duty as Senator to uphold the Constitution and human rights."