Sen. Grace Poe‘s post about the provisional freedom of ex-senator Leila de Lima, her past colleague, earned a “Community Note” tag on the X (formerly Twitter) platform after some users recalled her previous stance against the former lawmaker.
Poe on Monday, November 13 called De Lima’s nearly seven-year detention “unjust” after Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 206 Presiding Judge Gener Gito granted the former senator’s motion for reconsideration of her bail.
De Lima was granted bail in the third and last drug case against her, where the 69-page ruling of Gito said the testimonies of the witnesses failed to establish conspiracy among the accused to do illegal drug trading at the New Bilibid Prison.
She and the co-accused, namely former Bureau of Corrections chief Franklin Bucayu, former aides Ronnie Dayan and Joenel Sanchez and alleged bagman Jad Dera, were ordered to pay bail amounting to P300,000 each.
RELATED: Muntinlupa court grants bail to top Duterte critic Leila de Lima
De Lima previously secured two acquittals in 2021 and last May.
A Muntinlupa court in 2021 granted her demurrer to evidence, a challenge to the prosecution’s evidence that, when granted, has the effect of a case dismissal.
In May 2023, a Muntinlupa court cleared De Lima and Dayan of the charge of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading on the ground of reasonable doubt.
Her trial for her last case will continue since it has yet to be decided on by the court since it was only assigned to Gito last July after a series of re-raffles.
The court was already instructed to finish the trial by the first quarter of 2024. If it decides in her favor, she will be free with no pending drug cases.
De Lima has been detained for nearly seven years since February 2017 under the Duterte administration. She said that her persecution was former president Rodrigo Duterte‘s “project.”
The former senator was one of Duterte’s staunchest critics, claiming that the accusations against her were a retaliation for the investigation she conducted in the Senate about his bloody drug war.
Poe was among those who reacted following De Lima’s temporary freedom granted last Monday.
“Seven years of incarceration is long and arduous,” the senator posted on her X account.
“Mayaman o mahirap, hindi makatarungan ang manatili ng mahabang panahon sa kulungan dahil sa mabagal na proseso ng batas,” Poe added.
Her post has earned 1,400 likes, 2,200 quotes and 2,200 replies so far.
Seven years of incarceration is long and arduous.
Mayaman o mahirap, hindi makatarungan ang manatili ng mahabang panahon sa kulungan dahil sa mabagal na proseso ng batas.
— GRACE POE (@SenGracePOE) November 13, 2023
A day after, her post got a “Community Note” tag on the platform which reads:
“Sen. Grace is one of the 16 who voted to oust then-Sen. Leila de Lima during the height of persecution against the senator.”
Users who added the tag also linked two articles published in 2016 to provide more context.
This was noticed by some Filipinos on the platform.
Anyone else see the Community Notes on this tweet? https://t.co/lNuNnWoCqH pic.twitter.com/EbAJV3Tr6u
— Maded Batara III (@mnbatara3) November 13, 2023
Haha she asked for it pic.twitter.com/GRVOVE5PEb
— BenBen (@ianabrhm) November 14, 2023
The first link on the “Community Note” feature is from Rappler, which reported on De Lima’s then-senator colleagues voting to oust her as chairperson of their committee on justice and human rights.
The oust came after De Lima presented in a hearing Edgar Matobato, a self-confessed hitman of the Davao Death Squad who accused Duterte of ordering killings when he was still a mayor.
Poe was among those who voted to oust the then-opposition senator in a 16-4 vote, with only De Lima’s party mates standing by her.
Another link attached to the “Community Notes” tag featured an exclusive from the Philippine Entertainment Portal in which Poe explained her ouster vote against De Lima.
Poe said that ousting De Lima was to end speculations that there was a “bias” in the Senate investigation about the extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration.
“I believe that the case should be heard without the suspicion of bias against the chair or any of the committee members for that matter,” she said before.
“Otherwise, the committee and the public get distracted with possible grandstanding, polar bickering and party lines,” Poe added.
She said that it was more important to focus on the evidence and testimonies of “resource people” instead of the issues involving some senators hearing the extrajudicial killings.
Last year, Poe paid a tribute to De Lima during her farewell speech to the outgoing senators of the 18th Congress.
She described De Lima as someone “who keeps on fighting the good fight.”
Poe also said De Lima’s incarceration was “proof that our justice system is broken.”
De Lima, in response, said that she looked forward to continue working with Poe in their “shared causes.”
What is the ‘Community Note’ tag?
The X platform describes its “Community Note” as “a collaborative way to add helpful context to posts and keep people better informed.”
“Community Notes aims to create a better-informed world, by empowering people on X to collaboratively add helpful notes to posts that might be misleading,” it said on its website.
The feature allows certain users to write and rate notes. Notes that are rated as “helpful” will appear on the posts.
“To identify notes that are helpful to a wide range of people, notes require agreement between contributors who have sometimes disagreed in their past ratings. This helps prevent one-sided ratings,” X said.
The platform said it does not choose what shows up, adding that it is the users who do so.
“X doesn’t write, rate or moderate notes (unless they break X’s Rules.) We believe giving people a voice to make these choices together is a fair and effective way to add information that helps people stay better informed,” it said.
The “Community Note” feature is also “open-source and transparent,” according to the platform.