There is evil at work here.
Cruelty, Sadism, and Impunity against De Lima
August 27, 2022. PM
Today is Leila de Lima’s birthday. This is the sixth birthday that she is “celebrating” while confined at the PNP Headquarters(read my latest blog/column ).
Weeks ago, she requested the PNP in writing (as is the protocol) for permission to receive visitors for two hours on her birthday, August 27, from 11:00 AM to 1:00P.M. Their names were all listed, and included former SC Justice Tony Carpio, former SC Justice and Ombudsman Conchita Morales, former Sen. Franklin Drilon, former Senator, DILG, DOT and DTI Mar Roxas, Senator Risa Hontiveros, Congressman Edcel Lagman, DLSU Law Dean Chel Diokno. My husband, Christian (former Comelec Chair and one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution), and I were also part of the list.
There was no reply from PNP, and it was assumed that no news was good news. But this morning, at around 9 AM, a PNP Lt. Col. Patrick Ramillano went to de Lima’s cell and announced that her request had been disapproved/denied. No reason was given.
Christian and I were just about to leave the house for Camp Crame when we got the text message that the visit was canceled.
Those are the bare facts.
And they reveal the cruelty, sadism, and impunity, that lie behind the actions of those responsible for this situation. That is evil.
Why cruelty? Well, when the PNP denies a detainee marking her birthday a request for a two-hour visitation period, where she could talk to family and friends who want to wish her well and who in no way represent security risks to the nation or the camp, what is the word you would use to describe that action?
Why sadism? Picture this in your mind, Reader: Her written request was not being answered in a timely manner. No news is good news. So Leila de Lima was anticipating the visits from old friends and family, imagining the joy of the occasion, and hoping to forget for a couple of hours the frustrations of her situation. And then when she was at the peak of her anticipation (she may even have already dressed herself for the occasion), on the morning of her birthday, the PNP just casually come around and figuratively throw cold water on her plans and the plans of her friends and admirers. They had three weeks or more to make up their minds, and they made it up when it would cause the maximum pain for Leila and the maximum discombobulation to those looking forward to seeing her. Isn’t that sadism?
Why impunity? The PNP had absolutely no justifiable reason for denying the request. It was for a short time, it was her birthday, the guests were harmless. They denied it anyway. Because they can. Good manners and right conduct from a government agency require them (by law, even) to reply to a letter or a request within fifteen days. The PNP did not, and instead went to her – on the day of her birthday, and on a Saturday at that. In other words, they behaved in the most callous, almost brutal manner. Because they can.
Leila de Lima, who has served her country and her people with honor, integrity, competence and courage, is under their complete control, it seems. And she has not been convicted (and should never be) of any crime. And they treat her despicably. Because they can.
Let’s turn now to the PNP. Can cruelty, sadism and impunity describe this government entity? What do you think, Reader? Or are they merely following orders? If they are, who is giving the orders? And why are the officers acting so mindlessly? Lt. Col. Ramillano, for example. Did he not question the timeliness and the manner and the content of message he was charged to convey to Sen/Sec/Chair de Lima.
I fear for our country.