Sen. Leila de Lima, the fiercest critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, has since been detained since February 2017, but has yet to undergo arraignment in any of her cases.
AP/Bullit Marquez, file
It's final: SC upholds constitutionality of De Lima's arrest
Kristine Joy Patag (philstar.com) - June 6, 2018 - 6:38pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has affirmed its earlier ruling upholding the constitutionality of the arrest of Sen. Leila de Lima over her drug charges.

The SC Public Information Office on Tuesday made public the one-page En Banc notice of a court resolution dated April 17 that denied with finality De Lima’s motion for reconsideration.

The SC said that the “basic issues raised” in De Lima’s appeal “have been passed upon by this Court and no substantial arguments were presented to warrant the reversal of the questioned Decision.”

“No further pleadings will be entertained,” the SC added.

This confirms an earlier STAR report which noted that the high tribunal, voting 9-5, threw out De Lima’s appeal last April during an en banc session in Baguio City.

In October last year, the SC voted 9-6 to junk De Lima’s petition challenging the jurisdiction of the Muntinlupa regional trial court in issuing a warrant of arrest against her. De Lima is facing drug charges over her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison during her stint as Justice secretary.

She had argued that considering her position as senator, it is the Sandiganbayan that has jurisdiction over her person. But the SC ruled that the Muntinlupa RTC has exclusive jurisdiction over the drug charges against De Lima, even if her position with salary grade higher than 27 is under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.

In acting on her motion for reconsideration, nine justices voted to junk the appeal, while five voted to reverse the ruling. Following the denial of the motion for reconsideration, an entry of judgment will follow marking the finality of the ruling.

The detained senator, in April, vowed that she will “continue fighting for [her] innocence.”

The senator lamented: “[I]t is difficult to understand how an impartial tribunal can allow a citizen to remain under detention when even they themselves cannot agree on the nature of charge.”

De Lima, the fiercest critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, has since been detained since February 2017, but has yet to undergo arraignment in any of her cases.

LEILA DE LIMA SUPREME COURT
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