DOJ lukewarm on return of 11 witnesses vs De Lima to Bilibid

If DOJ has its way, 11 witnesses vs De Lima won’t be returned to NBP – exec

/ 06:14 PM December 21, 2023

An official says that if DOJ has its way, the 11 witnesses against Leila De Lima won't be returned to NBP


MANILA, Philippines — If the Department of Justice (DOJ) would have its way, the 11 witnesses in the drug case against former senator Leila de Lima will remain at Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Mindoro Occidental.

Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano said Thursday that the DOJ does not want to send the 11 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) back to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) because it would appear like a reward for withdrawing their testimonies against de Lima.


READ: Ex-cop Valeroso to recant accusations against De Lima


He added that the DOJ is currently studying its next step following an order of the Mintilupa court for the return of the 11 PDLs to NBP.

“Kaya pinapag-aralan pa namin kung ano ‘yung pinakamagandang hakbang as a matter of preference, kung kami lang ang masusunod, hindi namin gusto na ipalipat ulit ‘yung 11 na witnesses-inmates pabalik sa NBP,” Clavano said in a briefing with reporters.

(We are studying the best step as a matter of preference because if it were up to us, we do not want the retransfer of the 11 witnesses-inmates back to NBP.)

READ: After 6 years, De Lima free as court okays bail

He also said the DOJ does not want to send the 11 PDLs back to NBP because they do not want to make it look like recantations are incentivized by the country’s legal system.

“Recantations are always looked unfavorably, not just by the [Supreme Court] but also by the legal system in general. That’s also one of the reasons why we don’t want to return the 11 inmates to the NBP because it seems to show that we are even rewarding the PDLs for their recanted statements and testimonies,” he noted in a mix of English and Filipino.

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TAGS: Department of Justice, Leila de Lima, New Bilibid Prison, PDLs, witnesses

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