Guevarra says ‘no convicted person’ used as state witness vs De Lima
“As far as I know, no convicted person has been used as a state witness under Rule 119 against [Sen. Leila De Lima.]”
This was Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra’s retort to Senator Leila De Lima’s filing of criminal and administrative cases against him for allegedly accepting criminals as state witness.
Guevarra said a state witness is a co-accused discharged by the court to be a witness upon the motion of government prosecutors.
“It is, of course, understood that a potential state witness is himself a co-accused. If he is not one of the accused, he is just an ordinary witness,” he told INQUIRER.net in a text message.
Meanwhile, former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, who was also a respondent in De Lima’s complaints, declined to comment on the matter as he has yet to read the case.
Earlier, De Lima accused Guevarra and Aguirre of welcoming convicted felons with crimes “involving moral turpitude” into the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Program (WPSBP), which, according to the detained senator, violated Section 10 of Republic Act (R.A.) 6981 or Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act.
The said convicts were presented during a hearing of the House Committee on Justice on the alleged illegal drug trading in the National Bilibid Prison.
De Lima’s complaint further accused Aguirre of committing “felony of dereliction of duty” in violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act or R.A. 3019; and Guevarra of committing “gross misconduct and negligence” for failing to prosecute the convicted felons. /kga
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