Close  

Guevarra defends state use of convicts vs De Lima

/ 05:20 AM November 08, 2018

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has dismissed Sen. Leila de Lima’s accusation that inmates at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) had been admitted as state witnesses in her court trial.

“The charge against De Lima was about trading in illegal drugs inside the NBP. Would it be surprising that inmates be called upon to testify?” Guevarra said in response to the senator’s complaint filed in the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court.

ADVERTISEMENT

Drugs in prison

In her Oct. 29 complaint, De Lima accused Guevarra and his predecessor, Vitaliano Aguirre II, of graft and negligence for “illegally admitting as state witnesses” 13 convicts who implicated her in their illegal drug activities in prison.

FEATURED STORIES

Guevarra, however, claimed the inmates were ordinary witnesses and not state witnesses.

“As far as I know, no convicted person has been used as a state witness under Rule 119 against Senator De Lima,” he said, referring to the rule on criminal procedures about turning some accused as state witnesses to pin down other accused.

‘Absolute confidentiality’

Guevarra neither confirmed nor denied De Lima’s accusation that the 13 convicts had been placed on the Department of Justice’s Witness Protection Program (WPP), saying the WPP law required “absolute confidentiality.”

De Lima has been detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City, since Feb. 23, 2017, on charges that she presided over the illegal drug trade inside NBP while she was justice secretary from 2010 to 2015.

De Lima has denied the charges and cried political persecution.

ADVERTISEMENT
Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: De Lima's drug cases, Leila de Lima, Menardo Guevarra, Muntinlupa RTC, NBP inmates, Vitaliano Aguirre II, war on drugs
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.