RTC Judge Lelu brushes aside abuse allegations

RTC Judge Lelu Contreras
VIRAC, Catanduanes — A letter signed by inmates of Virac District Jail hurled accusations against RTC Executive Judge Lelu Contreras in connection with her alleged abuses and irregularities.

Said letter was forwarded to the office of Cong. Cesar Sarmiento, who represents the lone district of Catanduanes.

The letter was signed by at least 59 inmates from cells 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6.

It narrated that as poor and defenseless persons, they suffered oppression allegedly perpetrated by the Executive Judge.

The letter also claims that all such abuses are known to local lawyers, but no one among them has the courage to speak up.

Even some Church leaders, led by Bishop Manolo delos Santos, are “deaf, blind, and mute” as to said abuses, the same letter alleges.

As a result, they seek to have Contreras put under investigation, because of her alleged consenting to illegal acts committed by police officers, and forcing the accused to admit guilt even if they are innocent of the charges they are facing; among a litany of other claims.

Contreras refutes allegations

In an interview by the Bicol Standard, Contreras vehemently denied the allegations as “preposterous and without factual basis.”

She believes that the inmates could have misunderstood why Plea Bargaining in drug cases is not yet being considered in Catanduanes.

She explained, however, that she is just adhering to the Revised Guidelines on Continuous Trial on Criminal Cases.

She also answered the allegations one by one.

“I already have an idea as to who may possibly be behind this smear campaign,” she said.

However, she declined to reveal the person’s name. It is quite clear, she said, that the intention of the person is merely to shame her.

Confidently, she said she can defend herself in any forum to clear her name. (With reports from Ramil Soliveres)