The Department of Justice initially charged Sen. Leila de Lima with illegal drug trade. State prosecutors, led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, later amended the charge sheet and charged the senator with conspiracy to commit illegal drug trade.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman
De Lima wants convicts out from testifying in drug case against her
Kristine Joy Patag (philstar.com) - September 18, 2018 - 6:23pm

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila de Lima has asked the Muntinlupa court to disqualify convicts as the state prosecution’s witnesses in the drug case against her.

De Lima asked Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 206 to disqualify 13 of the prosecution’s witnesses for being convicted of crimes with moral turpitude that, she said, goes against the law on state witnesses.

De Lima cited Section 10 of the Republic Act 6981, or the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act that states that a state witness may be admitted to the program if “he has not at any time been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude.”

The senator pointed out that the prosecution has presented witnesses who are convicted of crimes:

  • Nonilo Arile: Murder, kidnapping
  • Jojo Baligad: Murder
  • Herbert Colanggo: Robbery with Homicide
  • Engelberto Durano: Frustrated murder, murder
  • Rodolfo Magleo: Kidnapping for ransom
  • Vicente Sy: Illegal sale and delivery of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu)
  • Hans Tan: Robbery, direct assault with murder
  • Froilan Trestiza: Kidnapping
  • Peter Co: Illegal sale and delivery of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu)
  • Noel Martinez: Kidnapping for ransom
  • Joel Capones: Homicide
  • German Agojo: Illegal sale and delivery of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu)
  • Jaime Patcho: Kidnapping for ransom

According to the Supreme Court, crimes of moral turpitude include robbery, murder, homicide, extortion and violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

“Despite this fact, they were still admitted, albeit illegally, as State Witnesses and granted immunity under the Witness Protection Program of the government,” her motion read.

“Their exclusion from the information is therefore illegal and without bases. Even if they testify, they cannot avail of immunity that was granted illegally and that is void ab initio,” the motion further read.

The court has yet to act on her plea filed last September 3.

The Department of Justice initially charged De Lima with illegal drug trade. State prosecutors, led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, later amended the charge sheet and charged the senator with conspiracy to commit illegal drug trade.

She has been accused of allowing the proliferation of drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison, during her stint as justice secretary.

De Lima has been detained at Camp Crame since February last year.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DRUG CASE LEILA DE LIMA
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