THE dismissed bribery cases of detained former Senator Leila de Lima has nothing to do with her pending illegal drugs charges, the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday emphasized.
“Basically, we are saying that the resolution of OMB (Office of the Ombudsman) was expected. We do not think, however, that it will have any bearing on the drug trading charges in court,” said DOJ spokesperson Atty. Mico Clavano.
On July 22, 2022, the Ombudsman junked the bribery cases filed against de Lima and her former personal driver, Ronnie Dayan, for lack of probable cause.
Also, the DOJ said that the Ombudsman resolution was consistent with the Justice Department’s February 14, 2017 resolution rejecting self-confessed Kerwin Espinosa’s claims that he gave de Lima a total of P8 million in exchange for his unhampered illegal drugs business while behind bars.
“Therefore, it was clear to the DOJ Panel of Prosecutors that Espinosa’s confession on the allegation of payment for protection was not convincing.”
“The Department would like to reiterate and point out that we are consistent with the recent resolution of the Ombudsman. In fact, our resolution in 2017 comes way ahead,” the DOJ said.
De Lima is currently detained at the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Crame, Quezon City, as she faces drug charges filed by the DOJ.
De Lima was charged with conspiracy to commit illegal drugs trade before the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court. Around 40 prosecution witnesses have testified against her, including former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Rafael Ragos.
She was accused of benefitting from the illegal drugs trade when she was the justice secretary during the Aquino administration.