DOJ chief says drug raps vs. de Lima non-bailable

By Benjamin Pulta

August 14, 2020, 1:08 pm

<p>Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (left) and Senator Leila de Lima (right). <em>(File photo)</em></p>

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (left) and Senator Leila de Lima (right). (File photo)

MANILA – Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Friday said the drug charges against detained Senator Leila de Lima are non-bailable.

The justice chief's remarks came after de Lima once more asked the court to grant her bail two weeks before her 61st birthday on August 27.

"That's her prerogative. But note that she is facing three drug-related cases, all of which are non-bailable," Guevarra said in a message to reporters.

In a 138-page motion for bail dated August 14, de Lima through her counsel Teddy Esteban Rigoroso sought temporary liberty on bail in the drug charges filed against her, erstwhile justice department employee Ronnie Dayan, and former Bureau of Corrections director Rafael Z. Ragos.

De Lima and the others accused were charged for soliciting money from high profile inmates at the New Bilibid Prison to support her senatorial bid in the May 2016 elections.

Prosecutors in the original criminal information dated Feb. 17, 2017, said de Lima, through Ragos and Dayan, received the proceeds of illegal drug trade amounting to PHP5 million on November 12, 2012, and again on December 15 of that year.

They also received PHP100,000 in so-called "tara" (grease money) each from the high profile inmates in Bilibid, prosecutors said.

De Lima who has asked for the quashing of the charges has questioned the decision of prosecutors to amend the information and to exclude Ragos in the amended information.

The incidents occurred when de Lima was the justice secretary during the term of former President Benigno Aquino III. (PNA)