De Lima renews plea for freedom Featured

De Lima renews plea for freedom

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

Opposition Sen. Leila de Lima has asked the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) to reconsider the arrest order it issued last month because she had earlier appealed for a review of the deficient cases against her with the Supreme Court.

De Lima urged Judge Patria Manalastas-De Leon of Muntinlupa RTC Branch 206 to review the arrest order, issued on Nov. 16, and defer her arraignment set on Dec. 8 pending the resolution of her petition to the Supreme Court.

“It is incumbent upon this court [RTC Branch 206] to hold in abeyance the scheduled arraignment. Otherwise, such an act would be tantamount to this court preempting 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 stated.

‘Fatal deficiency’

The detained senator also asked the lower court to review the “fatal deficiency” of the charges against her, noting that prosecutors have not even proved the existence of the drugs she supposedly attempted to sell.

It was the third arrest order separately issued against De Lima by three Muntinlupa courts.

All the cases stemmed from testimonies of drug convicts during the House of Representatives’ inquiry last year that she allowed drug trafficking in the New Bilibid Prison when she was justice secretary to raise funds for her senatorial campaign.

“It is impossible for the honorable court to determine the existence of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest since the information is deficient of any of the essential elements charged,” she said.

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