Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima’s camp has agreed to give the government prosecution team another chance to finally present its third witness next hearing after the trial on her “Disobedience to Summons” case was once again reset to Dec. 5.
De Lima’s legal counsel, Atty. Filibon Tacardon, said the Prosecution claimed that it failed to present De Lima’s former aide, Ronnie Dayan, as its witness anew because the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branches 205 and 206 released its Resolutions allowing Dayan to take witness stand just a day before the trial.
“Medyo nahuli ang aksyon ng Regional Trial Court, so we gave them [Prosecution] another opportunity to present their witness. Mahirap naman maisisi sa Prosecution lahat,” he said.
“According sa Prosecutor, there’s no time for them to arrange for the appearance of Ronnie Dayan [for today’s hearing, Nov. 7]. So hindi na natuloy,” he added.
Should the government prosecution fail to present Dayan for the third time in the next hearing on Dec. 5, Tacardon maintained their camp would push through with their plan to move for the waiver of the prosecution’s presentation of Dayan as witness.
The hearing stems from the December 2016 case filed by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas and Rep. Reynaldo Umali before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) Branch 34 for the charge of Disobedience to Summons against De Lima.
After De Lima refused to enter a plea on the said case before the MTC Branch 34, the Court entered a “not guilty” plea for the former justice secretary last March 13, 2017.
Considering that De Lima is also facing trumped-up illegal drug trading charges before the Muntinlupa RTC, Branches 205 and 206, Tacardon said he is well-aware that their legal struggles will not be an easy road to travel.
“We’re ready for all eventualities. We’re prepared for all eventualities,” he said. Tacardon further admitted he and his fellow counsels continue to be inspired by the Senator’s unwavering spirit, saying that “the lawyers are getting strength from her. At yun ang nagpu-push sa amin to continue this legal battle sa lahat ng fronts, the RTC, sa Ombudsman, dito sa MTC.”
While the Court granted access to reporters during the two-minute proceedings, the police escorts of De Lima still denied the media the opportunity to interview or take better photographs of the Senator.