Court denies De Lima bid to dismiss disobedience case
MANILA — A Quezon City court has denied the motion for reconsideration filed by detained Sen. Leila de Lima that sought the dismissal of her disobedience case filed by the House of Representatives.
In a resolution dated May 31, Judge Ma. Ludmila de Pio Lim of the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 34 denied De Lima’s motion for lack of merit.
The court also ordered that the hearing on the prosecution’s initial presentation of evidence would proceed on Friday. The House justice committee chief, Rep. Reynaldo Umali, is expected to take the witness stand as the first witness.
In its resolution, the court said the motion filed by the lawmaker was a “mere reiteration” of her counter-affidavit filed in January.
“The accused’s contention as to the lack of inducement in the instant case holds no water,” the resolution said.
The case filed by the Department of Justice in December last year stemmed from a complaint by Umali, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas.
The Congress leaders accused De Lima of “disobedience of summons,” or violation of Article 150 of the Revised Penal Code for allegedly advising her former driver and bodyguard, Ronnie Dayan, to snub a House inquiry on the alleged drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison.
In her motion, the lawmaker and former justice secretary said the prosecution has failed to establish the “crime of inducement.” Her camp also reiterated that Dayan was already in hiding even before the exchange of text messages between the senator and his daughter.
She also questioned the jurisdiction of the Quezon City court over the case.
“The Court reminds the accused that a finding of probable cause need not be based on clear and convincing evidence or on evidence beyond reasonable doubt,” the resolution read. “Said finding needs only to rest on evidence showing that, more likely than not, a crime has been committed and that it was committed by the accused.”
De Lima remained in detention at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, where she had already spent over 100 days. In her latest notes released to the media, she had called it “worse than death,” but stressed that her “spirit remains unbroken.” SFM
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