Leila de Lima’s earlier acquittals should merit bail- Lagman
MANILA, Philippines — Liberal Party president and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman on Thursday believes former senator Leila de Lima has enough grounds to be granted bail.
Lagman cited the two previous acquittals as grounds for granting bail.
His statement follows the denial of de Lima’s third and final bail petition by Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 256 on drug charges.
Lagman, a human rights lawyer, said four overriding factors should have made the court allow de Lima to post bail.
“Her prior acquittal in the two out of the three related ‘drug cases’ should have impelled the granting of her bail, because the totality of the prosecution’s evidence is patently feeble,” said Lagman.
A second factor, Lagman said, was the 2015 plunder case of former senator Juan Ponce Enrile.
The Supreme Court granted Enrile bail due to his presumption of innocence, voluntary surrender, low risk of flight, and fragile health.
“All of these standards apply to De Lima. She enjoys the presumption of innocence. She peacefully surrendered, is definitely not a flight risk, and her failing health condition should not approximate impending death for her to be granted temporary liberty,” said the opposition lawmaker.
Third, Lagman said de Lima’s six-year-long detainment violates her right to a speedy trial.
The Liberal Party leader also said, “The right to bail is rendered illusory if the grant is strictly withheld.”
De Lima’s third and final case is still pending in court, with her next trial date set on June 19.