De Lima again asks Muntinlupa court to junk ‘trumped-up’ charges
Detained Senator Leila de Lima has again asked a Muntinlupa City court to dismiss what she has called “trumped-up” illegal drug charges that the Duterte administration filed against her.
In a 10-page motion for reconsideration ad cautelam, which she filed before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 206, De Lima said the complaint against her “miserably failed” to “provide the existence of drugs that was allegedly attempted to be sold or was actually sold” inside the New Bilbid Prisons (NBP).
“The Information, Complaint-Affidavit, and Attached Affidavits, and TSNs (Transcript of Stenographic Notes), all miserably fail to provide the existence of drugs that was allegedly attempted to be sold or was actually sold by the accused. Hence, the corpus delicti in the instant case is lacking – a matter that is readily admitted by the DOJ Panel in its Comment,” De Lima said in a statement.
De Lima noted that “without these elements, alleged in the Information, the actual sale or trade of dangerous drugs can never be established.”
With this, De Lima asserted that it would be impossible for the court to determine the existence of probable cause to issue the third arrest warrant against her.
De Lima then asked the local court to reconsider the arrest order it issued last November 16 and defer her arraignment set on December 8, pending the final outcome of her Supreme Court petition that directly affects a similar case in Muntinlupa RTC Branch 206.
“It is incumbent upon this Court to hold in abeyance the scheduled arraignment. Otherwise, such an act would be tantamount to this Court pre-empting the Supreme Court, and arrogating unto herself the authority to have a final say on the jurisprudential effect of the Supreme Court’s decision,” she pointed out.
Last November 15, the Muntinlupa RTC issued De Lima’s third warrant of arrest nine months after she received the first warrant last February, which put her in detention at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center.
Muntinlupa RTC Branch 206 Judge Patria Manalastas-De Leon found probable cause for the arrest of De Lima and her former driver, Ronnie Dayan; as well as former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Franklin Bucayu and his alleged bagman, Wilfredo Elli; De Lima’s former aide, Joenel Sanchez; and NBP high-profile prisoner Jaybee Sebastian. /kga
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