Dispatch from Crame No. 982: Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the recent non-appearance of prosecution witnesses in her drug cases


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Recently, prosecution witnesses in my cases seem to suddenly have cold feet. Yesterday was the second time in a week that a prosecution witness failed to show up. The first was last Tuesday when not even convicted prisoner Engelberto Durano’s shadow could be located within the grounds of the Muntinlupa Hall of Justice, despite assurances from the prosecution that he was on his way with his BuCor guards.

Their excuse: traffic. It’s rather strange that BuCor cannot squeeze a single witness under its custody through traffic, while my lawyers, the judge and all the court staff waited the whole afternoon.

It should be recalled that Durano is the witness who, during his last appearance, directly gestured at me with a slashing motion across his throat, at the same time mouthing silently “papatayin ako.” And in open court no less! Because of this, my lawyers requested for a sidebar to put on record such a bizarre incident, suggestive of a coerced testimony.

Need I say more? Just this—what’s happening? ###

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
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