SC affirms earlier decision junking De Lima’s bid to quash court arrest order
The Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed its Oct. 10, 2017 decision dismissing Senator Leila De Lima’s bid to nullify the arrest order issued against her by a Muntinlupa court over drug trafficking allegations.
With the same vote, an insider said the High Court dismissed the motion for reconsideration filed by the Senator.
Those who voted to dismiss De Lima’s motion were Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr, Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano Del Castillo, Samuel Martires, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes and Alexander Gesmundo.
On the other hand, those who dissented were Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Associate Justices Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Francis Jardeleza, Marvic Leonen, and Benjamin Caguioa.
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is currently on an indefinite leave of absence.
In its October, 2017 ruling, the SC said it is the Regional Trial Court that has jurisdiction over the information that charges De Lima with violation of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
The SC added that the exclusive original jurisdiction of the RTC over violations of RA 9165 is not transferred to the Sandiganbayan whenever the accused occupies a position classified as Grade 27 or higher, regardless of whether the violation is alleged to have been committed in relation to the office being occupied.
According to the SC, the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction is limited to violations of the anti-graft laws and does not extend to violations of the anti-drugs law.
De Lima is accused of receiving around P10 million in drug payoffs from November 2012 to early 2013.
She was arrested on Feb. 24, 2017 by virtue of an arrest warrant issued by the Muntinlupa City RTC Branch 204. /muf
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