Senator Leila de Lima (C) leaves the Philippine Senate in Pasay City, Philippines in 2017. on February 23, when she was arrested. Her bail was denied before the court on Wednesday. File photo by Joseph Vidal/Philippines Senate Public Relations and Information Office
June 7 (UPI) — A Philippine court ruled Wednesday that former Sen. Leila de Lima, a fierce critic of ex-President Rodrigo Duterte, must remain in jail pending the last of three drug cases against her later this month.
De Lima, who has been in prison for more than six years on drug charges brought by Duterte while in office, was acquitted of one of the charges and dropped of another in May. However, the Muntinlupa court cited the importance of the latest charge by denying her bail.
“Therefore, on the premises, the instant petitions and motions for bail are denied,” Judge Romeo Buenaventura. wrote in its ruling on Wednesday. “The presentation of the prosecution’s main evidence took place on June 19 and 26, at 2 a.m. [local time] in the afternoon will proceed as scheduled.”
De Lima is charged with six more counts of conspiring to sell drugs in prison, charges similar to those already dismissed and dismissed. Her lawyers said the prosecution failed to present evidence of de Lima’s involvement.
Also charged in the case are former Bureau of Corrections chief Franklin Jesus Bucayu; Bucayu former staff Wilfredo Elli; inmate Jaybee Sebastian; Ronnie Dayan, de Lima’s former security aide, Joenel Sanchez; and Jad Dera. Sebastian is dead
However, the court acknowledged that there were contradictions between the witnesses, but they were not enough to dismiss the case.
“Although the Court notes that there were indeed inconsistencies and contradictions in the testimony of the prosecution witnesses, this is not enough to undermine the credibility of their testimony,” the court said.