Malacañang told Senator Leila de Lima Thursday not to celebrate yet despite the junking of her drug-related case by the Muntinlupa Regional Court, saying she’s still in jail.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said De Lima had two more drug cases to hurdle, adding “why should she celebrate when she’s still in her jail cell?”
A total three drug cases were filed against the lawmaker.
A critic of President Duterte, the former Justice secretary under the Aquino administration is currently detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame.
De Lima said that to be "acquitted even in just one case under the Duterte administration, is a moral victory."
The senator, detained since February 2017, said she was happy about being absolved and the court’s dropping of her case, Criminal Case 17-166.
In a 41-page omnibus order, Judge Liezel Aquiatan of Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branch 205 granted de Lima’s demurrer to evidence in Criminal case 17-166.
The Muntinlupa court said the prosecution failed to establish evidence that De Lima conspired with Dera in the alleged illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison during her stint as Justice Secretary, with Jad Dera supposedly collecting drug money from inmate Peter Co.
"While there exists a factual link that Peter Co delivered money through his bank transactions, this Court is convinced that the prosecution did not present sufficient evidence to establish Dera’s relationship or connection with De Lima," the court said in its ruling.
Meanwhile, in separate rulings, granted De Lima's Demurrer to Evidence in Case Number 17-166, but denied the same in Case Number 17-165.
Aquiatan denied the demurrer filed by De Lima’s co-accused, Jad Dera, in Case Number 17-166 but allowed the latter to post bail worth P500,000.
De Lima said aside from claiming they were not drug lords, the government’s witnesses against her testified under oath that they did not have illegal transactions with her or personal knowledge about her supposed involvement in drug trading in the NBP.
De Lima said she would file a Motion for Reconsideration in relation to the court’s junking of her Demurrer to Evidence in Criminal Case 165.
She said a very quick perusal of some portions of the Omnibus Order in Case 165 showed that the Court took at face value Ragos and Ablen’s claim of delivery of P10 million, which she said was a total lie.