De Lima’s former aides seek judge's inhibition from drug case | Inquirer News

De Lima’s former aides seek judge’s inhibition from drug case

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 03:39 PM June 13, 2023

Ronnie Dayan, former driver and bodyguard of Sen. Leila de Lima, presented at the PNP HQ, Camp Crame. INQUIRER PHOTO/LYN RILLON

Ronnie Dayan, former driver and bodyguard of Senator Leila de Lima, presented at the PNP HQ in  Camp Crame, Quezon City. (INQUIRER file photo/LYN RILLON)

MANILA, Philippines — Former Senator Leila de Lima’s aides and co-accused on Tuesday filed three separate motions seeking the voluntary inhibition of Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 205 Judge Romeo Buenaventura.

Buenaventura is the same judge who recently denied de Lima’s petition for bail, as well her co-accused Joenel Sanchez, Franklin Bucayu, Ronnie Dayan, and Jad Dera.


In their separate motions, Dayan, Sanchez and Bucayu said Buenaventura is related to Attorney Emmanuel Buenaventura, the legal counsel of former Oriental Mindoro representative Reynaldo Umali.


This alleged predicament is stated in their motions filed before the same court.

Dayan had previously said Umali — while supposedly assisted by Attorney Buenaventura — had allegedly coerced him into testifying against de Lima during the 2016 congressional inquiries into the illegal drug trading in New Bilibid Prison.

The claim of the two Buenaventuras being related was based on some reports and a Facebook post on June 8, 2023.

The post allegedly said, “the Honorable Presiding Judge Romeo S. Buenaventura is the brother of Atty. Emmanuel S. Buenaventura.”

“Wherefore, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed that the Honorable Judge Romeo S. Buenaventura, Presiding Judge of this Honorable Court, voluntarily inhibit himself from adjudicating the instant criminal case,” Dayan’s motion read.

Meanwhile, Sanchez urged Judge Buenaventura to prove his impartiality by voluntarily distancing himself from hearing de Lima’s case.


“Impartiality is essential to the proper discharge of the judicial office. It applies not only to the decision itself, but also to the process by which the decision [is] made,” Sanchez’s motion read.

On the other hand, Bucayu’s legal counsel in his motion said that he had already “completely lost faith in the impartiality” of Judge Buenaventura in handling the case against him.

“Hence, in order to avoid any unfair appearance and impression, and in the interest of justice and fairness, it is respectfully submitted that it is best if the Honorable Presiding Judge will just inhibit himself from the instant case and to allow the same to be re-raffled to another judge,” he said.

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Bucayu, in his motion, also prayed that the case be assigned or raffled to a different Muntinlupa RTC should the motion be granted.


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TAGS: court, Dayan, De Lima, Drugs, Sanchez

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