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VACC to Robredo: Criticizing the Court over De Lima is Democracy but Political Persecution Comment is Contempt


welcome By: Elena Grace Flores

Contempt is the offense of being disobedient to or disrespectful of a court of law and its officers. During the EDSA gathering, Vice President Leni Robredo and her Liberal Party co-members headed by ex-Pnoy heavily criticize Senator Leila De Lima’s conviction, calling it a political persecution. This shows that they are judging the court without due process which is crucial in a democratic country.


What is VACC?

The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption or VACC files contempt of court charges against Vice President Leni Robredo. This goes with senators Francis Pangilinan and Franklin Drilon as well. VACC’s lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said they prepare a complaint against Robredo, Pangilinan, and Drilon, who are overly vocal in opposing the arrest of their Liberal Party or LP colleague, Senator Leila de Lima.

VACC’s Complaint against Robredo

Topacio explains that De Lima’s allies continue to make comments that disrespect the court. He said that Robredo, in particular, issues this statement like the efforts to smear Senator De Lima are a strong indication that her arrest is a political persecution and not the result of an unbiased legal process. Pangilinan and Drilon also label De Lima’s verdict over drug charges as political vendetta.

LP Members Echoed the Act of Contempt

Most Liberal Party members echoe the same arguments of De Lima’s camp. They say that the issuance of an arrest warrant is a rush because the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court or RTC still need to hear the senator’s motions to quash. Hontiveros, Bam Aquino, and even ex-Pnoy also share the same sentiments in public but they are not included in the VACC charges.

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Disrespectful to the Court

Topacio clairfies how the senators accused of contempt commit the act. They insinuates that the court is biased with no grounds. That’s clearly an improper conduct given that Robredo herself is a lawyer. To criticize the court is freedom of expression in a democratic country, but one cannot be disrespectful in a way because it triggers rebellion.The charges are for violation of Section 3(d) of Rule 71 of the Rules of Civil Procedure which penalizes “any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice.”

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