Solicitor General Jose Calida maintained on Tuesday, March 21, that cops assigned to Senator Leila de Lima on February 24 can attest that the senator did not meet with her notary public and therefore falsified the notarization of her affidavits.
Calida earlier filed a manifestation before the Supreme Court, asking the SC to junk the petitions as they allegedly have no legal merit since they were not duly notarized.
Calida noted that notary public and De Lima's friend, Maria Cecile Tresvalles-Cabalo, was not among the visitors recorded in the logbook of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center on February 24.
The Solicitor General secured a joint affidavit executed by Chief Superintendent Belli Tamayo, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR); Chief Inspector Melvin Montante; Senior Inspector Lea Galvan; and Senior Police Officer 4 Candice Abalayan.
The cops affirmed that they stayed with De Lima from the night of February 23 until she was arrested and taken to Camp Crame in Quezon City the following day. They wrote in their joint affidavit that De Lima "was not seen signing any documents, affidavits, nor taking her oath in relation to any document before any notary public."
"She must be imagining things.'Yung espirito ng lawyer ang nakita niya (She saw the spirit of the lawyer)," Calida said.
Citing the strength of the evidence, the Solicitor General said he will file cases of falsification of documents against De Lima and Tresvalles-Cabalo. Calida added that the issue cannot be dismissed as a mere technicality because as lawyers, they have to follow the rules of court.
But Alexander Padilla, legal counsel for De Lima, said the issue is not enough for the detained senator's petitions to be dismissed.
"Even assuming na tama sila (that they are correct), it does not invalidate the position, may mga SC cases na diyan (there are already SC cases there)," he said.
'Lowest attack yet'
Padilla also said this is "the lowest attack yet" on their camp.
In a press conference before the 2nd round of oral arguments on De Lima's petitions before the SC on Tuesday, the senator's lawyers said De Lima and Tresvalles-Cabalo met on February 24 inside Camp Crame.
The meeting was at the CIDG office, where she was first taken at the PNP headquarters following her arrest, and not at the custodial center.
Asked what additional evidence they can present, Padilla said: "The question there is what evidence can they submit? Beyond the positive allegations of the notary public that she was there, she actually put in her notarian registry that she did that, that's a public record, they would have to prove a lot of things."
During the oral arguments on Tuesday, SC Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco asked former solicitor general Florin Hilbay, lead oralist for the De Lima camp, about Calida's allegation.
Hilbay read out parts of the affidavit executed by Tresvalles-Cabalo, saying the notarization happened inside the CIDG office at around 9 am on February 24. –
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SOURCE: YOUTUBE, RAPPLER