A MUNTINLUPA City regional trial court judge handling one of the illegal drugs charges filed against opposition Sen. Leila de Lima on Monday came up with an order inhibiting herself from the case.
This was after de Lima, who is currently detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, filed a motion asking for Branch 205 Judge Liezel Aquiatan’s inhibition.
“Wherefore, premises considered, the Motion for Reconsideration filed by accused Leila de Lima is hereby granted. The presiding judge hereby voluntarily recuses herself from further hearing the instant case,” Aquiatan said in a 4-page order.
De Lima filed a motion for reconsideration asking the court to reconsider its May 17, 2021 order denying her motion for voluntary inhibition.
It can be recalled that Aquiatan granted de Lima’s demurrer to evidence in Criminal Case 17-166 accusing her of benefiting from the illegal drugs trade when she was still the Justice Department secretary.
“The contention of the prosecution that the relationship of (Adrian) Dera and de Lima is immaterial deserves scant consideration as the prosecution in fact asserts that the money received by Dera from Peter Co was delivered to de Lima and that Dera acted on behalf of de Lima. But no link between the two accused was proven, and thus, it cannot be concluded that they agreed to engage in illegal drug trading, ” Aquiatan said in an omnibus order.
But in Criminal Case No. 17-165 where former driver Ronnie Dayan was also her co-accused, the same court has denied de Lima’s demurrer to evidence and motion for bail.
De Lima filed a demurrer to evidence, saying the prosecution’s evidence against her won’t stand legal scrutiny.
According to her, the prosecution failed to alleged the specific narcotics transaction she was involved with, and other proof to show her involvement in the illegal drugs trade.
The embattled lawmaker is facing three separate drugs charges before the Muntinlupa RTC. A separate case for disobedience to summons is now pending before a Quezon City court.