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2nd arrest warrant issued vs De Lima

By: Jonathan M. Hicap

A Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court judge has issued a second warrant of arrest against detained Sen. Leila de Lima for an illegal drugs trading case filed by the Department of Justice.

Judge Amelia Fabros-Corpuz of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 205 issued the arrest warrant on June 21 against De Lima and her co-accused Jose Adrian Dera.

Alex Padilla, one of De Lima’s lawyers, said that they will file a motion for reconsideration before Corpuz.

“We will file a motion for reconsideration dahil we don’t find it timely and appropriate dahil wala pa yung Supreme Court resolution,” said Padilla, referring to the motion filed by De Lima’s camp asking the Supreme Court to void her first warrant of arrest issued Judge Juanita Guerrero of the Muntinlupa RTC Branch 204 on February 23 for illegal drugs trading. The case is still pending in Guerrero’s court.

Corpuz issued the arrest warrant with no bail recommended but Padillla said the senator is not required to appear before the judge since she is already under detention.

“Sinerve yung warrant sa kanya but she’s already under detention so hindi na niya kailangan magpakita,” Padilla added.

De Lima, detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City , is facing a third drug case before Judge Patricia Manalastas-de Leon of the Muntinlupa RTC Branch 206.

In a hearing at the Muntinlupa RTC Branch 205 last March, Dera’s lawyer clarified that he was not a nephew of De Lima and was never a police officer nor was he connected to the government.

The DoJ filed the three cases against De Lima on February 17 based on a joint resolution by its investigating panel dated February 14 for illegal drugs trading at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City during her term as Justice Secretary.

De Lima allegedly received millions of pesos from high-profile inmates for her senatorial bid and in exchange for protection.

Other accused in the three cases are former National Bureau of Investigation Deputy Director and Bureau of Corrections Director Rafael Ragos, De Lima’s former lover Ronnie Dayan, former BuCor Director Franklin Jesus Bucayu, De Lima’s alleged bagman Wilfredo Elli, her former bodyguard Joenel Sanchez, and high-profile inmate Jaybee Nino Sebastian.