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May 14, 2023 Hector Lawas 171 views

The Akbayan Party-list has welcomed the decision of the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) acquitting former senator Leila de Lima of involvement in illegal drugs during her time as justice secretary under the Aquino administration.

In a statement, the party-list group reiterated that the cases against de Lima had no merit from the start, and pledged to continue campaigning for her complete release and the dismissal of her remaining charges.

The case that was decided last Friday by Branch 204 hinged on the testimony of former Bureau of Corrections officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos, who claimed to have delivered millions of pesos to de Lima supposedly from inmates at New Bilibid Prison to finance her 2016 senatorial bid.

However, Ragos later recanted his testimony, alleging that he was coerced to implicate de Lima in the illegal drug trade.

De Lima still faces another similar charge pending with another Muntinlupa RTC judge and will remain in detention until Branch 256 resolves her motion to post bail.

The Department of Justice filed the drug charges against de Lima, accusing her of benefiting from the illegal drugs trade during her tenure as justice secretary in the Aquino administration. She is presently detained at the Philippine National Police – Custodial Center.