MANILA - A Muntinlupa court on Friday denied detained Sen. Leila de Lima's and her former aide Ronnie Dayan's motion for reconsideration for their respective bail petitions and demurrer to evidence, paving the way for trial to proceed.
In an order dated March 5, the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 205 said it denied De Lima's and Dayan's demurrers to evidence and petitions for bail "due to lack of merit."
"The instant case involves a non-bailable offense," the order read.
"Bail is not a matter of right that can be resolved through a mere motion," it said.
The court stood by its earlier decision to deny the demurrers and the petitions for bail, saying it is "merely required to ascertain whether there is competent or sufficient evidence to sustain the indictment or to support a verdict of guilt."
"The Court stands with its Omnibus order that accused De Lima and Dayan must present their evidence to prove their innocence of the crime charged."
De Lima and Dayan were accused of receiving kickbacks from the illegal drug trade in the national penitentiary during the opposition senator's stint as Justice Secretary under former president Benigno Aquino III.
De Lima has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying she was charged with 3 drug-related cases for being a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte and his war on drugs.
Last month, the same Muntinlupa court acquitted De Lima in 1 of the 3 drug cases.