Arrest warrant out vs De Lima – even before courts hear her plea
MANILA — A warrant of arrest was issued Thursday by the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court against Sen. Leila De Lima and two other co-accused, a day before the courts could hear her motions to dismiss the illegal drugs charges against her.
Muntinlupa RTC Branch 204 confirmed that it released an arrest warrant against De Lima at 3:45 p.m. for Criminal Case No. 17-165.
Her other co-accused in the case are her former driver-lover and alleged bagman Ronnie Dayan and Rafael Ragos, former Bureau of Corrections and National Bureau of Investigation deputy director.
Branch 204 Judge Juanita Guerrero issued the warrant a day before the three Muntinlupa RTC branches hear the motions of De Lima to dismiss her cases.
Muntinlupa RTC Branches 204, 205 and 206 are scheduled at 8:30 a.m. Friday to simultaneously hear the motions to quash the charge sheet and to hold the issuance of warrant of arrest against De Lima pending the final resolution of the jurisdiction of the cases.
De Lima inisisted that the Office of the Ombudsman had sole jurisdiction to handle her cases, and not the Muntinlupa RTC.
De Lima is facing three counts of violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, particularly Section 5 (sale) in relation to Section 3 (jj or trading), and Sections 26 (b) and 28. The cases pertaining to her criminal liability as a government official and were filed by the Department of Justice.
The cases were based on the complaints by the NBI and watchdog group Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, which were built on the testimonies of high-profile inmates of the New Bilibid Prisons. The inmates, including robbery convict, Herbert Colanggo, testified during the House of Representative’s inquiry that Del Lima collected drug pay-offs from inmates who were trafficking illegal drugs from Bilibid itself. SFM/rga
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