DOJ stands firm on drug charges vs De Lima

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star
DOJ stands firm on drug charges vs De Lima
Photo shows detained Sen. Leila De Lima.
Facebook / Leila de Lima, File

MANILA, Philippines — Despite the ombudsman’s decision to dismiss the bribery case against detained former senator Leila de Lima, the Department of Justice (DOJ) stood firm on its decision not to withdraw the drug charges it filed against her.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla yesterday said the DOJ would let the courts decide on the merits of the illegal drug cases filed against De Lima.

Senators Risa Hontiveros and Aquilino Pimentel III recently filed a resolution seeking the release of De Lima from the Philippine National Police Custodial Center at Camp Crame.

Remulla said that groups, mostly diplomats, have asked or approached him to withdraw the drug cases against De Lima.

“I just had to explain the situation to them,” he said.

Incoming Justice Assistant Secretary and spokesman Mico Clavano echoed Remulla’s statement for the courts to decide on De Lima’s case.

Clavano said the DOJ had presented its evidence and it’s now De Lima’s turn to present hers.

De Lima has been in jail on drug charges since February 2017, under the administration of former president Rodrigo Duterte. She has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Based on the complaints, De Lima allegedly participated in illegal drug activities that transpired at the New Bilibid Prison when she was justice secretary during the administration of the late former president Benigno Aquino III.

She was acquitted by a Muntinlupa court in one of her cases after state prosecutors failed to present strong evidence to prove her guilt in the illegal drug charges filed against her. She still has two remaining drug charges.

Some witnesses of the prosecution, including self-confessed drug trafficker Kerwin Espinosa, have retracted their statements against De Lima.

The witnesses said their testimonies were made under duress.

Former Bureau of Corrections chief Rafael Ragos and De Lima’s former aide Ronnie Dayan also retracted their statements against the former senator.

Earlier, the ombudsman dismissed the bribery complaints filed against De Lima and Dayan for failure of the special team of investigators to provide “a clear, accurate and consistent narration of facts” that would support their claims against the accused.

The ombudsman also noted some inconsistencies in the testimonies presented by the complainant.


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with