By Jomar Canlas Manila Times
The Court of Appeals (CA) has denied Senator Leila De Lima’s petitions which sought to stop the prosecution of the drug cases lodged against her and pending before a Muntinlupa City court and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The CA’s Special Sixth Division, which consolidated the senator’s two separate petitions for injunctive relief, ruled that De Lima failed to show that proceeding with the prosecution of the cases would violate her rights or that it would result in “grave or irreparable injury” on her part.
In a four-page resolution dated February 28, penned by Associate Justice Nina Antonio Valenzuela, the CA found that the senator failed to adduce evidence to establish the “existence of a right to be protected” and to show that “the acts against which the injunction is directed are violative of the right.” “In this case, none of the requisites above mentioned are present. Clearly, we cannot issue an injunctive writ,” the appellate court said.
The first petition filed by the senator stemmed from the complaint initiated by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption and former National Bureau of Investigation deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala before the DOJ, which alleged De Lima’s complicity with the proliferation of the drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison.
The complaint has already been filed before the Regional Trial Court of Muntinlupa City.
De Lima’s second petition, meanwhile, involves a pending complaint before the DOJ regarding the senator’s alleged receipt of P8mn from big-time drug lord Kerwin Espinosa supposedly to support her senatorial bid last year. The DOJ earlier dismissed the complaint, but it is still up for automatic review.
De Lima has argued before the CA that the DOJ has no jurisdiction over the complaint against her. She maintained that it is the Office of the Ombudsman that has jurisdiction over the cases as she is a government official.
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