‘DON’T LOOK AT ME’: Treñas denies active role in De Lima’s prosecution

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor  

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas denied involvement in the prosecution of former senator Leila de Lima, despite joining other House leaders of the 17th Congress in calling for an investigation into the proliferation of drug use at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

“While I was a member of the [House Committee on Justice] at that time, I did not participate in the hearings in the House. I did not agree to the same but could not go against the administration at that time,” Treñas said in a statement on Wednesday, June 26.

Treñas was one of 12 House members who called for an inquiry through House Resolution 105 in 2016.

At that time, Treñas was an ally of former president Rodrigo Duterte, having joined the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) after Duterte took office.

The resolution was prompted by the discovery of several top drug dealers allegedly operating from their cells in the NBP during De Lima’s tenure as Secretary of the Department of Justice.

De Lima’s inclusion in the investigation led to the filing of three drug charges against her during Duterte’s administration.

These cases followed her Senate investigation into extrajudicial killings from the “war on drugs.”

Treñas welcomed De Lima’s release from prison after nearly seven years in detention, saying he was “glad” that the former senator was finally cleared of all her trumped-up drug charges.

“I know what Sen. De Lima went through. Worse, she was in jail for a very long time. I think she has every right to go after those who filed the cases against her,” he added.

He also believed that justice had been served to the former senator.

“If the courts say there was no case after the presentation of evidence by the prosecution, then the guilt of the accused was not proven,” he said.

This was not the first time Treñas celebrated De Lima’s acquittal. In May 2023, one of her cases was dismissed due to the prosecution’s lack of merit.

“The acquittal of Sen. Leila de Lima is a clear manifestation that the courts of justice are working in the Philippines,” he said.


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