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De Lima cleared of all drug cases

Joel E. Zurbano

Former Senator Leila de Lima has been acquitted in all three drug cases filed by the Department of Justice in 2017, during the administration of then President Rodrigo Duterte.

This came after Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branch 206 Judge Gener Gito granted De Lima’s demurrer in her last remaining drug case.

De Lima’s counsel, Boni Tacardon, said the prosecution had failed to prove her guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

In her petition filed in March, De Lima asked the court to dismiss the last drug case against her, citing the prosecution’s failure to present evidence to prove her guilt. She highlighted the court’s grant of her bail petition in November 2023 as evidence of the prosecution’s failure to establish her guilt.

De Lima has already won two out of the three drug cases lodged against her in two other branches of the Muntinlupa RTC, one through a demurrer of evidence in February 2021 and the other through lack of merit of the prosecution’s case in May last year.

The third and final case alleged that De Lima accepted bribe money from convicted drug lords at the New Bilibid Prison during her term as justice secretary to finance her senatorial campaign.

She has consistently denied any involvement in the illegal drug trade, asserting that she was a victim of political persecution due to her opposition to human rights abuses and killings associated with the drug war.

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