De Lima: Acquittal in one drug case is a victory

Published February 17, 2021, 11:37 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Detained Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday rejoiced after getting acquitted on one of the three drug cases that have been filed against her, saying she considers it a victory.

Senator Leila De Lima

“To be acquitted even in just one case, in the time of Duterte, is a victory,” DeLima, a staunch critic of the administration, said in a statement.

A Muntinlupa City court earlier acquitted the opposition senator on one of three drug cases she is facing but the court denied her bid to dismiss another one.

De Lima is facing two conspiracies to commit illegal drug trading cases filed before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 205, in which the senator filed a demurrer to both cases.

In two separate orders, the Muntinlupa RTC Branch 205 Judge Liezel Aquiatan granted De Lima’s demurrer to evidence in the case where her co-accused is her nephew Jose Dera.

Aquiatan, in her 41-page order, said the prosecution “failed to elicit strong evidence to sustain a finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt on the part of accused de Lima.”

She also deemed the testimonies of witnesses—including Bilibid inmates Hans Tan and Peter Co—as “insufficient to prove the culmination of the agreed drug trading in this particular case or to show de Lima’s personal knowledge of Dera’s collection of money on her behalf and her acceptance of the drug money thereof.”

However, the court denied her demurrer to evidence on the case where her co-accused is former aide Ronnie Dayan. The court also denied her bid to post bail for her temporary liberty.

De Lima, has repeatedly denied the illegal drug trade accusations hurled against her, saying it was an attempt by the Duterte administration to retaliate against her being a vocal critic of the government’s brutal war on drugs.