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De Lima drug case submitted for decision —lawyer

One of the remaining drug cases against detained former Senator Leila de Lima has been submitted for decision, her lawyer said Monday.

In an ambush interview following the hearing at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 204, Atty. Filibon Tacardon said they are expecting the decision to be promulgated on May 12.

“Malalaman na natin dito kung inosente talaga si Senator Leila de Lima at hinihiling namin ang dasal ng ating mga kababayan na pagdasal natin si Senator Leila de Lima na sana mabasura na itong kaso na ito laban sa kanya,” Tacardon said.

(We will find out if Senator Leila de Lima is truly innocent and we wish for our countrymen to pray for the dismissal of the case against her.)

According to Tacardon, the case stemmed from the allegation that De Lima received illegal drug money from former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos.

Last year, Ragos and self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa retracted their allegations against De Lima and apologized to her.

In February, Ragos finished the recantation of his allegations against the former senator before the Muntinlupa RTC.

“Ito yung testimonya na binawi ni Director Ragos nung nakaraan at sinabi niya na hindi totoo ang kanyang mga akusasyon,” Tacardon said.

(This case is related to the testimony that Ragos retracted previously.)

“Dahil nga dito, nagdesisyon na ang kampo ni Senator Leila de Lima na i-submit na for resolution talaga ang buong kaso at pinapa-desisyon na na namin sa buong hukuman ang nasabing criminal case,” he said.

(Because of the retraction, De Lima’s camp has decided to submit the case for resolution and ask the court to decide on the said criminal case.)

Meanwhile, Tacardon said their petition for bail over the remaining case against De Lima at the Muntinlupa RTC Branch 256 is still pending.

In February 2021, the Muntinlupa City RTC Branch 205 junked one of the three drug cases against De Lima.

De Lima is accused of benefiting financially from the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison during her stint as Justice Secretary. She has repeatedly denied the allegation.

The former senator marked her sixth year in detention in February 2023. —KBK, GMA Integrated News