One drug case vs de Lima junked but RTC ruled to keep another one
MANILA, Philippines — A Muntinlupa City court on Wednesday acquitted Senator Leila de Lima on one of three drug cases filed against her. But the court denied her bid to dismiss another one.
De Lima is facing two conspiracies to commit illegal drug trading cases before Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 205. The senator has filed a demurrer to evidence in both cases.
In two separate orders, the Muntinlupa City court granted De Lima’s demurrer to evidence in the case where her co-accused is nephew Jose Adrian Dera.
“Apparently, the prosecution failed to elicit strong evidence to sustain a finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt on the part of accused de Lima,” reads the 41-page order by Muntinlupa RTC Branch 205 Judge Liezel Aquiatan.
The court said testimonies of witnesses, including Bilibid inmates Hans Tan and Peter Co, “were insufficient to prove the culmination of the agreed drug trading in this particular case or to show de Lima’s personal knowledge of Dera’s collection of money on her behalf and her acceptance of the drug money thereof.”
However, in the case where her co-accused is former aide Ronnie Dayan, her demurrer to evidence has been denied. The court also denied the senator’s bid to post bail for her temporary liberty.
A demurrer to evidence is in effect a motion to dismiss filed by the accused after the prosecution finished its presentation of evidence. The demurrer is anchored on the ground that the evidence presented by the prosecution is insufficient.
With the dismissal of the demurrer to evidence, in one of the three cases, it will now be her turn to counter the allegations made by the prosecution by presenting her own evidence.
The initial reception of evidence is set for March 5.
The Senator is facing a separate drug case before Muntinlupa RTC Branch 256. In this case, she has five other co-accused. Here, the prosecution is still presenting evidence for the senator’s motion for bail.