De Lima not a flight risk, to appeal denial of bail: lawyer

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 18 2021 09:47 AM | Updated as of Feb 18 2021 09:58 AM

Embattled Senator Leila de Lima attends her hearing at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court on Friday, June 22, 2018. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Detained Senator Leila de Lima is not a flight risk and will appeal a Muntinlupa court's denial of her move to post bail in one of the three drug cases against her, one of her counsels said Thursday.

Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 205 on Wednesday acquitted De Lima of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading involving a certain Jad Dera.

The same court, however, denied the senator's motion to post bail in another drug case involving her former bodyguard Ronnie Dayan.

"Jurisprudence allows those people who are not a flight risk to post bail and the senator is not a flight risk so we intend to actually file a motion for consideration insofar as that particular decision of the court is concerned," lawyer Dino de Leon told ANC's Headstart.

"As an incumbent senator, former chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (and former) Secretary of Justice, she had numerous opportunities to leave in the past if she doesn’t intend to face these actions."

The senator has a pending motion for bail in her third case, De Leon added.

De Lima should also be allowed to participate in Senate hearings, majority of which are conducted virtually due to the pandemic, according to her lawyer.

"We think that should be allowed considering that what is only being restrained is the physical liberty of the good senator temporarily. Let’s remember that the senator is still innocent until this point in time," De Leon said.

"Considering her presumption of innocence and the fact that she is a duly-elected senator of the Republic is this should be allowed."

The court ruling came just days before De Lima marked four years of detention at the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame. The senator has long denied involvement in the illegal drug trade, saying the charges against her were political.

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