Why believe drug convicts? De Lima lawyers question arrest order, warrant


Posted at Feb 27 2017 10:23 AM | Updated as of Feb 27 2017 12:27 PM

Senator Leila De Lima listens to the arresting officer, while her warrant of arrest is read, at the Philippine Senate on Friday. Junny Roy, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Lawyers for Senator Leila de Lima are filing a petition questioning the legality of the arrest order, arrest warrant, and commitment order issued against the besieged lawmaker by a lower court judge.

Atty. Philip Sawili said their petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for status quo ante order, temporary restraining order, and preliminary injunction will be filed before the Supreme Court.

Atty. Alex Padilla noted the Department of Justice based the charges on the testimonies of known drug convicts without even including them in the charge sheet.

"Assuming dangerous drugs nga ito, hindi natin alam kung dangerous drugs, sino ba bumili, sino ba nagtrade, sino ba nagbenta sino ba mga criminal. Hindi sila sinama sa charge sheet mismo yung convicts na involved in drug trading. Ito yung mag same convicts na ginamit nila para magbigay ng testigo kay Senator De Lima," he said.

"Ang tingin ng DOJ, basta sinabi nila na nagkaroon ng illegal drug trading ay dapat natin paniwalaan, at dahil ito ay nagmula sa mga convicts… Kung ikaw po ay isang convict na nakakakulong at ikaw ay panghabang buhay nakakulong, hindi ba sasabihin mo maski papano, maski ano para lang mailigtas ka siguro mabawasan ang inyong sentensya… As far as we are concerned, talagang walang ka-value value itong mga testimonya ng mga convict."

He noted that based on the criminal information, the case should have been direct bribery or extortion which is under the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman.

"Ang charge ng illegal drug trading ay ginawalang para ito ay mapunta sa tinatawag na non-bailable offense," he noted.

De Lima was arrested last Friday after charges were filed in court alleging she received money from drug dealers inside the country's prisons.