Opposition Senator Leila de Lima has asked a Muntinlupa court to dismiss one of the three allegedly trumped-up drug cases against her, citing the absence of evidence that would implicate her in the drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison.
De Lima, through her legal counsels, filed her Demurrer to Evidence for Criminal Case 17-166 involving also co-accused Jose Adrian Dera on Jan. 7, saying the Prosecution failed to prove her guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
“Considering the clear absence of evidence—there is even no evidence of an overt act, much less proof beyond reasonable doubt-proving her guilt for violation of Section 26(b) in relation to Section 5 and Section 3(jj) of Republic Act No. 9165 (R.A. 9165), Accused De Lima respectfully submits that this instant trumped-up charge against her has no merit and must be dismissed,” De Lima said.
“In view of the absence of evidence of guilt, it is needless to still proceed with the presentation of the defense’s evidence, and the Court and the Accused must both be spared from this travesty of justice.”
Despite presenting 21 witnesses and allegedly voluminous irrelevant documentary evidence in the case, De Lima maintained that the alleged conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading between her and Dera remained to be speculation.
“None of the prosecution witnesses admitted having personal knowledge of, much less personal involvement in, the alleged illegal drug trade,” she said.
De Lima was originally charged with Illegal Trading/ Sale of Illegal Drugs but the prosecution amended the Information, substantially changing the charge into an alleged conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading because of the absence of a corpus delicti needed for a conviction.
The Amended Information alleged that De Lima conspired with Dera in such a way that Dera demanded money and vehicles from drug lord convict Peter Co for her senatorial bid in the May 2016 election, and Co traded dangerous drugs through the use of mobile phones and gave to De Lima, through Dera, the proceeds of the illegal drug trading consisting of three million pesos and four vehicles.
Instead of providing evidence of guilt beyond reasonable doubt against her, De Lima said, the Prosecution was only successful in proving that the case had absolutely nothing to do with illegal drugs because it was about facilitating the payment for the kidnapping-for-ransom by rogue cops twisted to implicate her in a bogus charge.
“Prosecution witnesses Peter Co, Hans Tan and Sally Serrano all testified that the real plot of this case is the kidnapping of Sally Serrano [Co’s niece] by rogue cops,” De Lima said.
“Their testimonies further show that the alleged money delivered to Accused Dera is the ransom payment for the supposed abduction or kidnapping of Sally Serrano, where, based on the Prosecution’s own theory and evidence, Accused De Lima had no part whatsoever.”