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Liberating Sen. Leila de Lima from an odious incarceration soon after President-elect Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. assumes office is the litmus test of his sense of justice and adherence to the rule of law.

De Lima has been in prison for more than five years since February 24, 2017 on perceived trumped-up drug charges.

Since the President ultimately controls the prosecution of criminal cases, the public prosecutors must be directed to desist from further prosecuting de Lima for want of competent and credible evidence.

It must be recalled that one of the three drug cases filed against de Lima had already been dismissed on February 17, 2021 for insufficiency of evidence.

Moreover, the major prosecution witnesses in the two other pending cases have voluntarily recanted for having been coerced to testify and the other witnesses have failed to pin down de Lima.

While de Lima languishes in jail, the prosecution is grasping at barren straws.

The new administration will embark on the right foot by freeing de Lima from an unwarranted and unjust imprisonment.