De Lima wants bail petition granted 'before Christmas'

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 09 2020 12:23 PM

Sen. Leila De Lima is escorted by police as she emerges from her hearing at the Muntinlupa Trial court, Nov. 16, 2017. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA - Sen. Leila de Lima's camp on Monday said they are hoping for the court to grant the detained lawmaker's petition for bail before Christmas this year, after a witness recently "cleared" the opposition member of drug links.

"Nagsampa na po kami ng petition for bail sa hukuman at inaasahan sana namin na bago mag Pasko ay mapagbigyan na 'yung aming petition for bail," the senator's lawyer Boni Tacardon said in an interview on TeleRadyo.

(We have filed a petition for bail before the court and we expect the court to grant it before Christmas.)

The prosecution, accusing De Lima of "conspiracy to commit drug trading," recently presented the affidavit of late inmate Jaybee Sebastian, who claimed to have raised funds for the opposition senator through the illegal drug trade in the national penitentiary. 

In his July 2020 affidavit, Sebastian claimed he delivered P5 million in drug money to De Lima through then-Bureau of Corrections Officer in Charge Rafael Ragos, but in a congressional hearing in 2016, he told lawmakers that he only handed over P2 million.

A sentence claiming that he would often see Ronnie Dayan with Sec. De Lima when they would go to the New Bilibid Prison was also crossed out in Sebastian’s July 2020, allegedly signed less than a week before the he died in July 18 allegedly due to COVID-19.

"Itong mga ganitong klaseng salaysay ang nakikita naming mga dahilan para mapagbigyan ang petition for bail para kay Sen. De Lima," Tacardon said.

(These kinds of statements are the reasons why we think Sen. De Lima's petition for bail should be granted.)

The senator, who has been detained in Camp Crame since February 2017, is in good spirits, the lawyer said.

"Mataas po ang kompiyansa niya at matibay na matibay 'yung paninindigan niya," he said.

(She is very confident and she has a really strong conviction.)

"Hindi po namin nakitaan ng panghihina ng loob si Sen. De Lima dahil alam niyang siya ay inosente," he said.

(We never saw her discouraged because Sen. De Lima knows she is innocent.)

De Lima, a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, has repeatedly said that she was detained for launching a probe against possible human rights violations committed by the police during the administration's war on drugs. 

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