De Lima cases raffled off to Muntinlupa RTC

THE three separate drug cases filed against Senator Leila De Lima were raffled off to three Muntinlupa court judges on Monday, February 20.

The development came three days after the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued its resolution indicting the senator and seven others over their alleged participation in the narco-trading in the state penitentiary.

Set to hear the senator's cases are Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 204 Judge Juanita Guerrero, Branch 205 Judge Amelia Fabros-Corpuz, and Branch 206 Judge Patria Manalastas-de Leon.

Based on court procedures, the judges will need to determine first if there is probable cause to issue warrants of arrest against the accused.

There is no motion filed yet to consolidate the three cases.

De Lima is set to file within the day motions to quash the case based on "lack of jurisdiction" and "lack of evidence."

She insisted in earlier interviews that the cases against her should be heard in the Sandiganbayan, and not in Muntinlupa trial court.

The conclusion of the DOJ panel of prosecutors to charge the senator over her alleged violation of Section 5 (sale, trading dispensation, delivery of dangerous drugs) of the Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 was released after the 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 inmate Jaybee Sebastian. (SunStar Philippines)

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