THE cases against Senator Leila De Lima in connection to her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trading in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) will be out next week, said Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.

”In a matter of days. Baka hindi na lumampas sa next week,” Aguirre said in a press conference last Friday when asked when will the resolution on the graft and drug trafficking complaints filed against De Lima be released.

Aguirre admitted that the Department of Justice (DOJ) panel of prosecutors led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong are taking time to resolve the complaints as they want to come up with an airtight case against those involved in the proliferation of the narcotics trade in the state penitentiary.

The five-man panel of prosecutors tasked to decide the issue has submitted the case for resolution on December 21 last year.

The Senator refused to submit her counter-affidavit answering the complaints against her as she insisted that the panel should resolve first her motion for inhibition seeking to stop the DOJ from deciding her case and remand it to the Office of the Ombudsman.

The panel refused to grant the De Lima's motion, adding that they will resolve it simultaneous with the complaints filed against her.

This has prompted the Senator to seek remedy with the Court of Appeals (CA).

The CA has yet to resolve De Lima's petition for a Temporary Restraining Order to stop the DOJ from rendering its decision.

De Lima is facing complaints for indirect bribery, violation of the Anti-Graft Law and violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), former NBI deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala, and high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian.

It is unclear yet if the DOJ will forward its findings to the Office of the Ombudsman, the agency mandated to investigate and prosecute government officials or to the lower court had the panel rule to indict De Lima. (SunStar Philippines)