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Muntinlupa court orders release of De Lima after posting P300,000 bail

A Muntinlupa court ordered the release of former senator Leila de Lima from detention on Monday, Nov. 13, after she posted bail amounting to P300,000.

De Lima will be released from the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame tonight (Nov. 13).

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Former senator Leila de Lima holding a wooden crucifix when she arrived at the Muntinlupa Hall of Justice on Nov. 13 (Arnold Quizol)

Her release will come after spending six years and eight months in detention due to the three drug cases filed against her by the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Duterte administration in February 2017.

In a decision dated Nov. 10 under case no. 17-167 and announced on Nov. 13, Presiding Judge Gener Gito of the Muntinlupa RTC Branch 206 granted bail amounting to P300,000 each to De Lima, former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) director Franklin Jesus Bucayu, Ronnie Dayan, Joenel Sanchez, and Jose Adrian Dera.

After the decision was released, De Lima posted P300,000 bail.

In a separate decision, Gito ordered the release of De Lima from detention in Camp Crame.

“Per Order dated 13 November 2023, the Court reconsidered the Order dated 07 June 2023 issued by the Hon. Presiding Judge Romeo S. Buenaventura and in turn, allowed accused Leila M. De Lima to post bail in the amount of Three Hundred Thousand Pesos (P300,000.00) for her provisional liberty,” the new order read.

It added, “Thus, accused De Lima posted the said amount in cash as evidenced by Official Receipt No. 9788437 dated 13 November 2023. Wherefore, finding the bond posted to be in order and in accordance with the law, accused Leila M. de Lima is allowed provisional liberty under the said bond.”

Gito directed the custodial officer of the Philippine National Police-Headquarters Support Service, Custodial Service Unit “to release the accused provided there exists no order from any other case to the effect that (s)he remains confined in its custody. He is also caused to submit a report as to the date and time both the accused were released from custody.”

Under case 17-167, they are accused of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading.

The DOJ charged that between March 2013 to May 2015, the accused used inmates at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa to sell and trade dangerous drugs using mobile phones and other electronic devices, and allegedly got the proceeds amounting to P70 million.

De Lima, a Duterte critic, was a sitting senator when the DOJ filed three cases against her, all for illegal drug trading but were later changed by the DOJ to conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading.

Case No. 17-167 is the last remaining case of De Lima. The two other cases were dismissed by Muntinlupa courts.

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