Remulla says there is likelihood De Lima will be cleared of remaining case
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Wednesday said there is a likelihood that former senator Leila de Lima will be cleared in the remaining drug case.
After more than six years, de Lima was finally out on bail after Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 206 granted her motion for reconsideration for a temporary liberty.
The court ruled that there is not enough evidence to warrant de Lima’s continued detention.
“It is clear in the eyes of the judge that there is not enough evidence. The Judiciary is independent, it is the judge who made the decision,” Remulla told reporters.
“Well, a non-bailable case, when it becomes bailable shows the kind of evidence that the prosecution was able to establish in the eyes of the judge,” Remulla said.
“Sa bansa natin na walang jury at ang nag dedesisyon ay judge, malinaw sa mata ng huwes, lumalabas dito ang kasong ito ay hindi talaga maaring bigyan ng pyansa kung malakas ang ebidensiya kaya ang kabaliktaran noon, kapag mahina yung ebidensya may piyansa,” he added.
(In our country where there is no jury and the decision is only rendered by the judge, it is clear from the ruling of the judge that he should not have allowed the bail if the evidence is strong, and the inverse is if the evidence is weak, then the bail is allowed.)
But Remulla clarified he is not saying the prosecution’s evidence against de Lima is weak.
“Hindi ko sinasabi yan. Ang sinasabi ko ay yun ang paningin ng judge. Hindi para sa akin. Hindi ako maaring mang husga diyan,” he added.
(I am not saying that. What I said is it is up to the judge and is not for me to decide or judge the evidence.)
Remulla said it is not for him to tell the prosecutors what to do. He said the prosecutors handling the case are under the department’s National Prosecution Service, he did not interfere or meddle in their decisions or moves regarding the case against de Lima and her co-accused.
State prosecutors accused de Lima and her co-accused of tolerating the illegal drugs trade inside the national penitentiary from May 2013 to May 2015 when she was serving as the Justice Secretary.
Two of the three-drug cases against de Lima have already been dismissed by the Muntinlupa courts.
De Lima said she will work for her complete vindication.