De Lima acquittal in last drug case gets cheers here and abroad

De Lima acquittal in last drug case gets cheers here and abroad

/ 06:25 PM June 24, 2024

De Lima acquittal in last drug case gets cheers here and abroad

Former Senator Leila de Lima answers questions from the media in an ambush interview on Monday, June 24, 2024, after the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court acquitted her in the last drug-related case filed by the Duterte administration. Leagogo

MANILA, Philippines — Leila de Lima’s acquittal from her last drug-related case was met with jubilation, especially from members of the political opposition and human rights advocates.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros welcomed a Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court’s decision to dismiss the case against de Lima that effectively exonerated the former lawmaker of any crime.


But she emphasized the need to hold accountable people who have unjustly dragged de Lima into the illegal drug trade.


“Noon pa man, alam kong walang sala si Sen. Leila at umaapaw ang kaligayahan sa puso ko na ngayon ay nakamit na niya ang hustisya. From ‘Free Leila Now’ to ‘Now, Leila is free’,” Hontiveros said in a statement.

(Even before, I knew that [former] Sen. Leila was innocent and I am extremely glad now that she has achieved justice. From “Free Leila Now” to “Now, Leila is free.”)

READ: De Lima acquitted in last drug case

“But we need to focus our attention on those who have wrongly accused her. False charges compromise not only the accused’s reputation but also the integrity of our legal system. We call upon the authorities to pursue and hold accountable those who have perpetuated these unfounded allegations,” she added.

According to Hontiveros, people who unjustifiably accused de Lima of wrongdoing and endangered the honor of the country’s legal system “must face the consequences of their actions.”

Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno likewise hailed de Lima’s acquittal.


He thanked de Lima for not giving up on her fight for justice and truth.

“Ito’y patunay na ang katotohanan ay mananaig pa rin ang hustisya sa gitna ng mga kasinungalingan,” Diokno said on X (formerly Twitter).

(This proves the truth that justice will still prevail even in the midst of lies.)

READ: Senators hail de Lima latest acquittal: Real crime was her arrest

Diokno also believes that people behind the filing of unfair cases against de Lima should be held liable.

“Ang hukuman ay takbuhan ng taumbayan para matamo ang hustisya, hindi ito instrumento para sa maruming pamumulitika,” he emphasized.

(People go to the court to get justice, it is not an instrument for dirty politics.)

Meanwhile, European Union (EU) ambassador to the Philippines Luc Véron said the bloc stands alongside the verdict of justice and human rights.

“I share the joy of Atty. Leila de. Lima and her co-defendants who were cleared of all charges today by the Muntinlupa City Court. After so many years, this is a victory for justice!” Veron said on X.

De Lima, a staunch critic of former President Rodrigo Duterte, was accused of being involved in the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison. She was arrested and immediately detained in 2017.

De Lima, however, was released from detention in November 2023 when the court allowed her to post bail for her temporary liberty.

The Muntinlupa court’s June 24 decision stemmed from a demurrer to evidence motion filed by de Lima’s camp in March where she prayed for the dismissal of her third and final drug case due to insufficiency of evidence.

The lower court granted de Lima’s prayer, dismissing the last case which is tantamount to an acquittal of the accused.

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“I feel immense relief and joy right now. I can now rest easier and sleep more soundly,” de Lima said in Filipino during an ambush interview with members of the media after the Muntinlupa court’s decision on her third drug case was announced.

TAGS: drug case, Leila de Lima

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