De Lima acquittal in drug case 'reason to respect' PH justice system – Locsin | Inquirer News
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De Lima acquittal in drug case ‘reason to respect’ PH justice system – Locsin

/ 10:05 PM February 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The dismissal of one in three drug cases against Senator Leila de Lima is “further reason to respect” the country’s justice system.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said this in a tweet Thursday, adding that the United Nations will be informed of the senator’s acquittal.

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“It is actually proof conclusive that the Philippine justice system works if slowly at least exceeding fine. I knew it all along,” the foreign affairs chief tweeted.

“Will send this to the UN as further reason to respect our justice system before opening the mouth with ignorant comments,” he added.

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De Lima is facing two cases of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading before Branch 205 of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court. The senator has filed a demurrer to evidence in both cases.

A demurrer to evidence is in effect a motion to dismiss filed by the accused after the prosecution has finished its presentation of evidence. The demurrer is anchored on the ground that the evidence presented by the prosecution is insufficient.

The court dismissed one case, where her nephew Jose Adrian Draw, was her co-accused; and ruled to keep the other and deny the senator a chance to post bail.

De Lima is facing another 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.

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De Lima, one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s fiercest critics, earlier claimed “moral victory” over the dismissal of one of her cases, which she repeatedly branded as “trumped-up.”

The senator will be marking her fourth year in detention this February 24. Since her detention, some American senators have been calling for her immediate release.

Senators Richard Durbin and Patrick Leahy even introduced an amendment to the 2020 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill that sought to ban US entry to Philippine officials proven to be behind de Lima’s “wrongful imprisonment.”

Last December 2020, then U.S. President Donald Trump signed the 2020 national budget, which included that provision.

In response to the ban, Malacañang expressed confidence that the US government would not be able to establish “credible information” in the alleged “wrongful” detention of de Lima, insisting that the senator’s imprisonment went through the proper judicial process.

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TAGS: Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Justice System, Nation, News, Senator Leila de Lima, UN
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