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Aguirre chides De Lima lawyers for saying DOJ filed wrong case

/ 05:30 PM February 28, 2017
Vitaliano Aguirre

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday chided lawyers of Senator Leila De Lima for saying that the she was wrongfully charged.

One of the lawyers of De Lima, Alex Padilla, on Monday said there is no evidence that the senator has been involved in illegal drug trade. He said drug trafficking was only filed to make sure that De Lima will not be able to post bail.

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The lawyers said De Lima should have been indicted for direct bribery, even though they stressed the evidence on this is also questionable.

If direct bribery was the offense filed against De Lima, the jurisdiction of the case would have been the Sandiganbayan and not the RTC and it is a bailable offense.

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But Aguirre said the panel of prosecutors did not put all the details of the indictment in the information filed before the sala of Muntinlupa RTC Branch 204 Judge Juanita Guerrero which ordered De Lima’s arrest and detention at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame last week.

“Basic yan hindi mo nilalagay ang detalye. Ang nakalagay diyan ultimate facts lamang. Kaya yung mga information like aspirin man yan hindi na nilalagay yan sa information otherwise baka umabot ng isang metro ang information na yan (It’s a basic rule that only ultimate facts are included in the information otherwise, the information sheet would run as long as one meter),” Aguirre said.

He added that it is the prosecution panel which determines what charges should be filed in court.

“The accused cannot interfere or suggest what charges to be filed against him. If the rule were otherwise, absurdity will follow. It will be the accused who will choose the charges to be filed against him. Of course, the accused will choose the offense with lighter penalty,” he added.

In its complaint, the DOJ alleged that De Lima received around P10 million in drug payoffs from November 2012 to early 2013 through her co-accused, former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos.

Ragos said he delivered the money to De Lima’s residence in Paranaque City where it was received by her former driver Ronnie Dayan.

Dayan is also a co-accused of de Lima in the case.

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The DOJ claimed that De Lima pooled the money to fund her senatorial campaign in the May 2016 elections, an accusation she repeatedly denied./rga

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TAGS: drug money, Drug trafficking, Drugs, Leila de Lima, New Bilibid Prison, Philippine news updates, Ronnie Dayan
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