Muntinlupa City court wraps up case vs Leila de Lima; decision set on May 12
MANILA, Philippines — One of the two remaining drug cases filed against detained former senator Leila de Lima is up for decision next month, her lawyer said Monday.
Atty. Filibon Tacardon said Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 204 has already submitted for decision the case stemming from her alleged receipt of drug money from former Bureau of Corrections chief Rafael Ragos.
The case promulgation is set for May 12.
“Malalaman na natin dito kung inosente talaga si Senator Leila de Lima at hinihiling namin ang dasal ng ating mga kababayan na pagdasal natin si Senator Leila de Lima na sana mabasura na itong kaso na ito laban sa kanya,” Tacardon added.
(We will find out here if Senator Leila de Lima is innocent, and we ask for prayers from our fellow countrymen that this case against Senator Leila de Lima will be dismissed.)
De Lima was accused of receiving a total of P10 million from Ragos and her aide Ronnie Dayan. The money allegedly came from inmates of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP). Purportedly, the money was meant to fund her 2016 senatorial bid.
But Ragos already disowned his earlier testimony against de Lima, saying he was only coerced to accuse de Lima of wrongdoing.
“Ito ‘yung testimonya na binawi ni Ragos na kung saan sinabi niya na hindi totoo ang mga akusasyon niya kay Senator de Lima kaya dahil dito nagdesisyon na kami na i-submit na ito for resolution,” Tacardon said.
(This is the testimony that Ragos retracted in which he said that his accusations against Senator de Lima were not true, so we have decided to submit it for resolution.)
Meanwhile, Muntinlupa City RTC Branch 256 is also set to rule on de Lima’s bail petition on May 8.
Muntinlupa City RTC Branch 256 is handling the case against de Lima, former BuCor chief Franklin Jesus Bucayu, Bucayu’s former staff Wilfredo Elli, NBP inmate Jaybee Sebastian, de Lima’s former aides Joenel Sanchez and Dayan; and a certain Jad de Vera.
State prosecutors accused de Lima and Bucayu of tolerating the illegal drug trade inside the NBP’s maximum security compound from May 2013 to May 2015.
In February 2021, Muntinlupa City RTC Branch 205 dismissed one drug case against de Lima.
“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 of Muntinlupa RTC Branch 205 Judge Liezel Aquiatan.