Muntinlupa RTC judge inhibits from De Lima drug case

/ 02:02 PM January 15, 2018
DRUG CASE / JUNE 30, 2017 Senator Leila de Lima leaves at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court on Friday, after she attend the drug charges filed against her. INQUIRER PHOTO / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

Senator Leila de Lima leaves the Muntinlupa regional trial court after attending the hearing for her drug charges.

Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 54 Judge Juanita Guerrero has inhibited herself from handling the illegal drugs case against Senator Leila De Lima.

The senator last year sought the inhibition of Guerrero citing obvious partiality and questionable independence.


In her motion, De Lima’s camp said Guerrero has “displayed an unseemly and undue haste” in ensuring her detention and depriving her of liberty despite pending petition filed before the Supreme Court.

READ: De Lima wants Munti RTC judge to inhibit


De Lima cited the judge’s inaction on her pending Motion to Quash (MTQ), and the scheduling of the senator’s arraignment prior to deciding on the pending MTQ and petition filed before the SC.

“The glaringly clear, single-minded over-eagerness to detain accused De Lima based on an invalid information that is irredeemably and irreparably  tainted and made defective by, among others, the rampant and blatant violation of accused De Lima’s rights, is quite evident,” De Lima’s camp stated.

De Lima’s camp maintains an impartial judge should have acted on the red flags “indicating serious infirmities and irregularities that attended the preliminary investigation of the case” and, as a consequence, give greater respect and protection to the accused’s constitutional rights.

In her recent order, Guerrero said “the court is fully aware that a mere imputation of bias or partiality without any proof or evidence is not a ground for a judge to inhibit in further proceeding with a case.”

However, she said “in order not to cast doubt on the integrity and impartiality of the Presiding Judge and to disabuse the mind of the accused and her counsel who have expressed serious doubts on her objectivity in resolving this case due to the adverse orders issued against her, the court, acting on its sound discretion, voluntarily inhibits herself from further hearing the case.”

Guerrero said records of the case will be forwarded to the Clerk of Court for re-raffle to other branches of the Muntinlupa RTC. /je

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: De Lima, drug case, inhibit, Juanita Guerrero, judge, Muntinlupa, Regional Trial Court
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.