The Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 205 handling two of the three trumped-up drug charges filed against Senator Leila M. de Lima has allowed her to file a motion seeking the outright dismissal of her cases.
De Lima’s Chief-of-Staff, Atty. Fhillip Sawali, confirmed that Hon. Liezel Aquiatan granted De Lima’s Motion for Leave to file Demurrer to Evidence for Criminal Cases Nos. 17-165 and 17-166 in open court last Dec. 29. The said motion for Case 165 was filed orally on the same day.
De Lima’s camp is given 10 days to file the demurrer, while the Prosecution is given the same period to file their comment. The Court will deem it submitted for resolution after both parties submit their pleadings.
The demurrer to evidence will allow De Lima’s camp to challenge the sufficiency of the Prosecution’s evidence against her.
Sawali maintained that they wanted the case’s outright dismissal, without need of presentation of defense witnesses, considering that the Prosecution’s evidence against De Lima was too weak.
“In both cases, the Prosecution failed to establish the existence of any money trail, transaction, and derogatory intelligence or information that would implicate Senator De Lima to the Bilibid drug trade, or any supposed criminal conspiracy,” he said.
Sawali noted that the Prosecution has presented 20 witnesses and no less than 78 documentary exhibits, but they still failed to establish the material allegations that they have laid out in the Amended Information, including the facts to prove each of the elements showing the violation of Section 26(b) in relation to Section 5 and Section 3(jj) of R.A. 9165, otherwise known as the “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2012.”
It may be recalled that De Lima filed motions for bail in June, August, and December for the three cases against her, including the one being heard by the Muntinlupa RTC Br. 256 due to lack of sufficient, let alone strong evidence. The motions are now submitted for resolution by the Court. (30)