De Lima appeals SC ruling affirming her arrest on drug charges

SHARE
Reuters file photo of Sen. Leila de Lima

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila de Lima on Friday urged the Supreme Court (SC) to reconsider its earlier decision dismissing her petition to nullify the arrest warrant issued in connection with the illegal drug charge filed against her.

In her 24-page Motion for Consideration, De Lima said majority of the SC members cannot even agree on the nature and cause of the accusation against her.

“The absence of a majority on the nature of the charges against Petitioner is the clearest possible indicator — coming from the Supreme Court itself — that the accusation is blatantly a pure invention and a fake charge to borrow from Justice (Antonio) Carpio. This is an institutional admission of the gravest consequence,” De Lima’s motion read.

“If the members of the majority could not even agree on the nature of the accusation reflected in the Information, such fact is an objective indicator that respondent judge could not possibly have had probable cause to issue the warrant of arrest against Petitioner,” she added.

On October 10, the High Tribunal, voting 9-6 ruled against De Lima’s petition to nullify the arrest warrant issued against her by Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 2014 for illegal drug trade allegedly committed when she was justice secretary.

De Lima further stressed that five of the nine justices who voted to dismiss her petition maintained that the crime charged against her is “illegal drug trading” while three other justices asserted that it is the crime of “conspiracy to commit drug trading.”

“If at least three members of the nine justices constituting the majority that voted against Petitioner believe that the charges are for Conspiracy to Commit Drug Trading, then it only follows that they must have concluded that respondent judge issued a warrant of arrest for an entirely different and wrong case. To keep Petitioner in continued pre-trial detention is patent abuse of judicial authority,” De Lima said.

The senator, meanwhile, reiterated her appeal to the SC to “rectify the injustice committed against her” for her prosecution and detention.

She said that it was fortunate that she is a lawyer, a lawmaker, and a human rights defender who is “vigilant of her rights.”

The senator also maintained the SC should not allow itself to become an “instrument of injustice” by allowing the proceeding that is undeniably political persecution and abuse of government power.