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De Lima refuses to enter plea in drug case arraignment

/ 11:47 AM February 01, 2019

MANILA, Philippines–Senator Leila de Lima maintained her position that the charges against her were all fabricated as she refused to enter a plea on the drug case filed against her before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 205.

The Senator has refused to recognize the court’s jurisdiction saying the cases against her “are completely fabricated.”

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“How can I plead to something that is bogus, fabricated, trumped-up? I’m not at all recognizing the validity or legitimacy of this trial. I cannot, your Honor,” De Lima told the court when asked how she would plead.

Because of her refusal to enter a plea, the court, as a matter of procedure, entered a not-guilty plea on her behalf at her arraignment on Friday morning.

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De Lima is facing drug-related charges before three Muntinlupa courts. The cases were filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) alleging that she has conspired with officials from the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and some of its inmates to benefit from illegal drug trade.

She said the allegations against her are baseless and sought dismissal of all charges. The courts, however, denied her motions.

De Lima is a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte. She has been in detention since February 2017. /muf

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TAGS: arraignment, court, De Lima, Drugs, no plea
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