Missing evidence delays last De Lima case | Inquirer News

Missing evidence delays last De Lima case

/ 05:10 AM January 30, 2024


Former Sen. Leila de Lima (INQUIRER PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — The prosecution’s third and last pending case against former Sen. Leila de Lima faced another setback as they failed to submit more than 60 pieces of evidence to the court.

This prompted Muntinlupa Judge Gener Gito to order prosecutors on Monday to submit the missing evidence within the next five days. The evidence includes sworn statements, affidavits and other documents that they claim support their allegations that De Lima was involved in the illegal drug trade at New Bilibid Prison.


Among the missing pieces of evidence were the sworn statement of prosecution witness Joel Capones and the affidavit of another witness, Frank Sabalones.


“The prosecution has already filed its formal offer of evidence. In fact, accused [former Bureau of Corrections Franklin] Bucayu and accused De Lima had respectively filed their comment/opposition to the formal offer of evidence filed by the prosecution,” the judge’s order read.

“However, the court perused the prosecution’s formal offer of evidence and it noticed that there are several documents indicated in the formal offer which are not attached to the formal offer of evidence,” it said. “Prosecution, likewise, did not indicate the record where those documents can be located.”

De Lima’s lawyer, Filibon Tacardon, said in a phone interview with the Inquirer that the prosecution was having a hard time locating the evidence.

Mislaid evidence

“Substantial numbers of documents were missing … they couldn’t find it … They are now having a hard time locating the evidence,” Tacardon added.

He said that they were familiar with the list of the evidence because these were previously submitted in other cases.

“If they will be unable to produce it (within the period), [it will] not be admitted as evidence, not considered as evidence,” Tacardon told the Inquirer. According to him, they were still planning to file a demurrer to evidence or a motion to dismiss the case for lack of evidence.


De Lima was released on bail in November last year after spending more than six years in detention after the judge pointed to the lack of substantial evidence presented by the prosecution, noting that her guilt was not sufficiently established.

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TAGS: De Lima drug cases, Leila de Lima

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