Beleaguered Senator Leila De Lima refused to enter a plea before a Quezon City court as she was arraigned for the case filed against her by the Department of Justice for “disobedience to summons’’.
The case stemmed from De Lima’s alleged advice to her former driver and boyfriend Ronnie Dayan to evade the House inquiry on her supposed involvement in the illegal drug trade in the National Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Judge Ludmila De Pio Lim of the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 34 entered the “not guilty” plea for De Lima.
The senator was brought back to Camp Crame Custodial jail facility after the hearing.
One of De Lima’s counsels, lawyer Philip Sawali, said De Lima did not enter any plea, insisting that the Quezon City court does not have any authority to hear her case.
Sawali said the jailed senator remained unperturbed even if this is the price she has to pay for going against the wishes of President Duterte.
De Lima had chided the President for his alleged glaring human rights violations in his anti-illegal drug war where thousands of suspects were killed without due process.
Hours before the scheduled 2 p.m. hearing, hundreds of De Lima supporters staged a rally in front of the Quezon City Hall of Justice, calling for her release. (Chito Chavez)