By REY PANALIGAN
The Supreme Court (SC) affirmed yesterday the arrest and detention of Sen. Leila de Lima on the illegal drugs trading charges filed against her by the Department of Justice (DoJ).
In a decision, the SC dismissed the petition of De Lima to nullify the arrest order issued against her by the Muntinlupa City regional trial court (RTC), to order her release from detention, and to stop further proceedings on the illegal drug trading charges filed against her.
In a statement, SC Spokesman Theodore O. Te said: “The SC, in a 9-6 vote, dismissed the petition of Senator Leila De Lima. There are 11 separate opinions (5 concurring, 6 dissenting). Summary to be released as soon as dissents and concurrences are released.”
Later in a press briefing, Te said the decision was written by Justice Presbitero J. Velasco Jr. and concurred in by Justices Teresita J. Lenardo de Castro, Diosdado M. Peralta, Lucas P. Bersamin, Mariano C. del Castillo, Samuel R. Martires, Noel G. Tijam, Andres B. Reyes Jr., and Alexander G. Gesmundo.
Those who dissented were Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno and Senior Justice Antonio T. Carpio, and Justices Estela M. Perlas Bernabe, Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen, Francis H. Jardeleza, and Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa,
Copies of the decision and the dissenting and concurring opinions were not immediately available.
In her petition, De Lima pleaded the SC to issue a status quo ante order (SQAO) that would lift immediately the arrest order issued by RTC Judge Juanita Guerrero who found probable cause on her criminal liability.
She also pleaded for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) that would stop the criminal proceedings before the trial court.
But her pleas were not granted by the SC which conducted oral arguments on the petition.
The lady senator was arrested last February and is now detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) custodial center in Quezon.
Her co accused, Rafael Marcos Z. Ragos – former officer-in-charge of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) – has surrendered and has been committed for detention by the trial court at the NBI in Manila.