Death of witness will not affect criminal cases vs Sen. De Lima

Published July 30, 2021, 4:49 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said the death of a witness will not affect the prosecution of the criminal cases filed against detained Sen. Leila M. De Lima.

Guevarra said that Vicente Sy, a convicted drug lord who testified against De Lima and who passed away last July 29, “had already testified in the criminal cases… and had also been cross-examined.”

Thus, he said, “his (Sy) death will not have any impact on the prosecution of the cases.”

De Lima has been charged in criminal cases on her alleged involvement in the illegal drugs trade. She is now detained at the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Deputy Director General Gabriel P. Chaclag said Sy died last July 29 at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) Hospital in Muntinlupa City after a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or stroke this week.

“While waiting for available slot for admission at OsMun (Ospital ng Muntinlupa), PDL (person deprived of liberty) Sy experienced another cardiac arrest and succumbed at around 8 p.m. yesterday, July 29,” Chaclag said.

“Cadaver is scheduled for autopsy as part of our regular procedures,” he said.

Sy was among 10 NBP inmates who testified against De Lima in her three criminal cases.