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De Lima urges probe of former Justice chiefs after CA ruling

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De Lima urges probe of former Justice chiefs after CA ruling
Former Philippine senator and human rights campaigner Leila de Lima talks during an interview with AFP in Manila on November 24, 2023.
AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — Former senator Leila de Lima has called for the investigation into former Justice chiefs Vitaliano Aguirre II and Menardo Guevarra after the Court of Appeals ordered the Office of the Ombudsman to act on her complaints against the two. 

De Lima secured another legal victory as the CA reversed the Ombudsman's dismissal of her complaints against Aguirre and Guevarra over the government’s use of convicted criminals as state witnesses. The court voided the notices issued by the Ombudsman, citing “lack of due process.”

In a statement Sunday, the former justice chief of late President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III welcomed the development. 

“With the reversal of the Ombudsman dismissal by the CA, I expect the Ombudsman to now conduct a full investigation of both Aguirre and Guevarra,” De Lima said.

De Lima added that Guevarra, who currently serves as the solicitor general, should at least be required “to answer the administrative aspect of the case and defend his role in propping up criminal convicts as state witnesses even if they are disqualified from being granted immunity under the law.” 

In 2018, De Lima filed complaints against Aguirre and Guevarra for granting state witness status and immunity to convicted criminals, a violation of the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act. 

De Lima appealed the Ombudsman decision dismissing her complaints with the CA and the Supreme Court in 2020. 

“Hopefully, the SC will also decide favorably soon,” she said.

De Lima, one of the most vocal critics of former President Rodrigo Duterte, was released on bail less than two weeks ago after almost seven years behind bars.

Two of the drug trafficking charges against her have been dismissed. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

vuukle comment

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

LEILA DE LIMA

MENARDO GUEVARRA

VITALIANO AGUIRRE II

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