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DOJ files drug cases vs. De Lima in Muntinlupa court

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 2/17/2017 Merueñas, Mark
Leila de Lima © Provided by GMA News Online Leila de Lima

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday filed three separate drug cases in court against Senator Leila De Lima in connection with her alleged participation in the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison. 

De Lima was charged before the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court for violation of Section 5 (sale and trading of illegal drugs) in relation to Section 26 (b) and Section 28 (criminal liability of government officials and employees) under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

The cases have yet to be raffled off to a judge, who may issue an arrest warrant against De Lima and her co-accused including former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Franklin Bucayu. 

De Lima had said that she was expecting her arrest following Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II’s statement that the resolution on the cases filed against her will be out anytime soon.

Last week, the CA Special Sixth Division turned down a request from De Lima to stop the DOJ from deciding on the complaints against her, citing her alleged failure to show proof that she will suffer irreparable loss if her appeal is not granted.

De Lima is accused of tolerating drug syndicates inside the national penitentiary in exchange for campaign funds in the 2016 polls. 

The cases came following the preliminary investigation conducted last December by a five-man DOJ panel on complaints forwarded by the National Bureau of Investigation, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, former NBI deputy directors former NBI deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala and NBP high profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian. 

The senator dismissed the allegations, calling it a fabrication by the Duterte government which she criticized over the unexplained killings of drug suspects under its war on illegal drugs. 

She also said the complaints should have been referred to the Office of the Ombudsman, which she believes has primary jurisdiction over cases involving government officials and employees. — MDM, GMA News

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