JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Monday that he is confident that the Supreme Court will not nullify the arrest order issued by a Muntinlupa court against Senator Leila De Lima over her drug cases.
"Sa Korte Suprema na 'yun pero palagay ko malabo," Aguirre said when sought for a reaction on the petition filed by De Lima's camp with the SC earlier in the day.
The senator's petition seeks to nullify the arrest order issued by Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 204 Judge Juanita Guerrero last Thursday following the Department of Justice's (DOJ) filing of criminal information in court on February 17.
In a petition for certiorari, De Lima said Guerrero acted with "grave abuse of discretion" when she issued the warrants of arrest against her, her former driver Ronnie Dayan, and former Bureau of Corrections official Rafael Ragos.
De Lima's legal counsels Philip Sawali and Alex Padilla argued that the judge should have resolved first the senator's motion to quash the case based on "lack of jurisdiction" and "lack of evidence" filed on February 20 before issuing the arrest order.
The senator is facing three separate drug cases at three court branches in Muntinlupa RTC for her alleged violation of the RA 9165 or the anti-dangerous drugs act of 2002 over her supposed involvement in the proliferation of illegal drug trading at the state penitentiary when she was justice secretary.
The filing of information in court came after the DOJ's panel of prosecutors' conduct of preliminary investigation last December on the complaints filed by the National Bureau of Investigation, its former executives Ruel Lasala and Reynaldo Esmeralda, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption and NBP high-value inmate Jaybee Sebastian. (SunStar Philippines)