Court enters 'not guilty' plea for De Lima


Posted at Jul 27 2018 04:01 PM

Policemen guard Sen. Leila de Lima inside a police van after appearing at a Muntinlupa court in connection with her drug charges, February 24, 2017. Erik De Castro, Reuters

MANILA- More than a year since her detention, Sen. Leila de Lima on Friday was finally arraigned before a Muntinlupa court for drug charges.

De Lima refused to enter a plea before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 206, saying she does not recognize the "legitimacy and validity" of the charges filed against her.

In accordance with court rules, the judge automatically entered a "not guilty" plea for De Lima.

The senator was detained in February 2017 for allegedly masterminding the illegal drug trade inside the national penitentiary when she was justice chief under the Aquino administration.

She has repeatedly dismissed the charges as "political persecution."