Muntinlupa court enters ‘not guilty’ plea for De Lima
Much to her chagrin, Sen. Leila de Lima was finally arraigned on Friday for one of the three drug cases filed against her in the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) after 17 months in detention.
De Lima did not enter a plea before Judge Lorna Navarro-Domingo of Muntinlupa RTC Branch 206.
“I’m sorry, Your Honor. I refuse to enter my plea,” she told Domingo. The judge then entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of De Lima.
“I do not recognize the legitimacy and the validity of the charges against me,” the senator said. “[These cases] are completely fabricated and bogus from orchestrated lies.”
De Lima’s counsel, Bonifacio Tacardon, expressed “surprise” after the judge denied their motion to dismiss the charge, which they also filed on Friday, and proceeded to arraign her.
The case involved the alleged drug trading at the National Bilibid Prison from November 2012 to March 2013, when De Lima was still justice secretary, based on the statements of convicts during a 2016 inquiry in the House of Representatives. —DEXTER CABALZA
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