Detained former senator Leila de Lima prefers to get her provisional liberty from detention through a grant of bail rather than filing a petition for habeas corpus with the Supreme Court.
This is according to De Lima’s legal counsel, Boni Tacardon, who said they are aiming for the grant of bail by two Muntinlupa courts, which are handling the former senator’s two remaining drug cases that were filed by the Department of Justice in February 2017.
De Lima attended the hearing at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 204, which is handling case 17-165, which accuses De Lima and Ronnie Dayan of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading and getting P10 million in 2012 that supposedly came from the proceeds of the illegal transactions.
Former officer-in-charge of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Rafael Ragos testified in court. Ragos last year recanted all his statements against De Lima and Dayan, saying he did not deliver P10 million to De Lima’s house in Paranaque.
De Lima’s possible release from detention surfaced after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the petition for habeas corpus of Gigi Reyes, former chief of staff of former senator Juan Ponce Enrile. She was released from detention through the ruling.
According to Tacardon, De Lima’s defense team is studying the Supreme Court ruling.
“Inaalam namin ang applicability nito kay Senator De Lima. Pero sa totoo lang, naka-focus talaga kami sa bail applications niya ngayon dahil ito ay hindi lamang pagrespeto sa proseso ng hukuman at sa hukuman na mismo (We are looking into the applicability of this to Senator De Lima. But in truth, we are focused on bail applications nwo because this is not only giving respect to the process of the court and to the court itself),’ said Tacardon.
He said De Lima’s petitions for bail are with the two Muntinlupa courts and they are just awaiting for the hearings to end.
“Eto ‘yung aming itinutulak (This is what we are pushing for),” he said, adding that the bail decisions may come out in the next two months. De Lima has been detained for nearly six years.
The next hearings of case 17-165 are scheduled on Feb. 10 and 24.