Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has shared that she has grown more determined to prove her innocence from all the trumped-up drug charges filed against her, following the court’s denial of her motion to post bail and junk one of her two remaining bogus drug cases.
In a two-page order last March 5, Judge Liezel Aquiatan of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 205 ruled that the court stands with its Omnibus Order that De Lima must present her evidence to prove her innocence of the crime charged.
“As I said: It’s still a long haul for me. Prolonged persecution. Delayed justice. Delayed vindication. But I shall not stop fighting for truth and freedom because I want not just to be released from this most unjust detention, but to be unequivocally and categorically declared innocent,” De Lima stressed.
“I just pray for the Lord to keep me healthy, sane and whole to survive this travesty of justice and, in due time, witness my oppressors’ reckoning and attain my vindication within my lifetime. I must finish the race…” she added.
De Lima attended the hearing on Criminal Case No. 17-165 before the Muntinlupa RTC Branch 205 last March 5 wherein her legal counsel, Atty. Rolly Peoro, confirmed the court’s junking of her Motion for Reconsideration which they filed last Feb. 22.
“Dineny na po yung ating Motion for Reconsideration ngayong araw, kakatanggap lang natin. Mula sa ating 70-page na Motion for Reconsideration at 100 plus [pages] na Demurrer [to Evidence], binigyan tayo ng 2-pager na [ruling] for our Motion for Reconsideration,” Peoro said.
“Kung babasahin natin yung naratibo ng Order, parang yung Prosecution lang talaga ang naglabas ng ebidensya at wala tayong inilabas dun sa mga cross-examinations… Marami pa tayong mga points na ni-raise na hindi naisama. Na sabi natin kung naisama lang yun, ang ilalaman ng lahat ng mga testigo ng mga testigo ay inosente si Senator Leila de Lima,” he added.
In her 70-page Motion for Reconsideration, De Lima raised the issue of Judge Aquiatan’s “cherry picking” because it devoted 20 pages of the 35-page Omnibus Order “summarizing the Prosecution’s narrative without ever addressing or citing the information elicited during the witness’ testimonies that contradicted such narrative.”
The Prosecution, for their part, asked the court to deny De Lima’s Motion for Reconsideration, alleging, among others, that her motion is a mere reiteration of the arguments in her Demurrer to Evidence and that the elements of the alleged conspiracy were duly established by concise and direct testimonies of the Prosecution’s witnesses.
In her Reply to the Comment/Opposition of the Prosecution filed last March 4, De Lima stressed that the Motion for Reconsideration brings new arguments and clearly points out the egregious errors in the Omnibus Order of the Honorable Court.
“Had the Prosecution exerted real effort to read the Motion for Reconsideration, the Prosecution would easily know that the said motion raised new critical insights on how the Honorable Court missed out and overlooked important details in its Omnibus Order,” the document read.
“In the Motion for Reconsideration, Accused De Lima laid down all the arguments to justify the reversal of the denial of the Demurrer. First of all, it painstakingly pointed out the egregious omission of exculpatory facts and the other patent, reversible errors committed by the Honorable Court,” the document further stated.
De Lima likewise said that the Prosecution failed to prove the charge of conspiracy as the testimonies of its witnesses prove otherwise and even bolster her innocence.
The hearing was reset to March 26 and April 16. Peoro also shared one of the Prosecution’s manifestation in Court not to include Ronnie Dayan, De Lima’s co-accused, as witness.
“Tinututulan nila [DOJ] or sinasabi nila na hindi nakalista yung isang akusado, si Ronnie Dayan, bilang isang testigo. Si Ronnie Dayan kasi ang unang nakasalang na testigo, para sa kanya bilang akusado.
At sinabi natin sa korte na karapatan yun ng akusado at hindi pwedeng pigilan nino man kung gugustuhin ng isang akusado na umupo para ilatag ang kanyang kwento. Ang sabi naman ng Korte ay oo. Wala tayong karapatan para pigilan si Ronnie Dayan kung gusto niyang magsalita para sa kanyang sarili,” he said.
The same court granted De Lima’s Demurrer to Evidence, which is tantamount to her acquittal, in one of her trumped-up drug cases. (30)