De Lima to stay in jail after SC junks appeal

Senator Leila De Lima will remain in detention after the Supreme Court (SC) dismissed her motion for reconsideration on the arrest warrant against her issued by Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC).

In a ruling penned by Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr., the SC upheld the arrest order against the senator, which was issued by Muntinlupa RTC Executive Judge Juanita Guerrero on February 23, 2017.

De Lima surrendered to authorities on February 24, 2017, and has since been detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Quezon City.

The warrant of arrest came after the Department of Justice (DOJ) charged De Lima for her alleged involvement on the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison when she was justice secretary from 2010 to 2015.

The senator, however, denied the charges and cried political persecution.

In her petition, De Lima argued that it was the Office of the Ombudsman, not the RTC, which has jurisdiction over the drug cases against her because she accused of profiting from drug trade by using her position as the Justice secretary.

She also claimed that Guerrero committed grave abuse of discretion for ordering her arrest despite the fact that she had a pending motion to quash.

The high court dismissed De Lima’s petition to nullify her arrest on Oct. 10, 2017 due to lack of merit. The senator later filed a motion for reconsideration, which the SC also dismissed recently.

In a statement on Wednesday, April 18, De Lima lamented the SC’s decision to junk her motion for reconsideration.

“I am disappointed but hardly surprised…It is disheartening because our case is clearly meritorious. And I say that as plainly and as objectively as I possibly could,” the senator said.

She also vowed “to continue fighting for [her] innocence.”

“Because I am innocent. No lie can ever change that fact. Someday I will attain my vindication, and all the lies—especially the lies about the deaths of the thousands of victims of the so-called ‘War on Drugs’—will be exposed, and the butchers, tyrants, and oppressors will be brought to answer for their crimes against the Constitution and against humanity,” De Lima added.

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