Friday, August 18, 2017

Camp of De Lima aims to file dismissal of case due to "mistrial"

Sen. Leila De Lima photo file (ctto)

Manila, Philippines - According to the camp of the detained Senator Leila De Lima, the continuous verbal attacks of President Rodrigo Duterte will be added to the list why her case should be dismissed.

De Lima’s counsel said that they have withdrawn their motion to suppress the illegal drug trade case against her on Friday at Branch 205 of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court filed Last Tuesday.

The defense lawyers of the senator in recommendation of former Sen. Rene Saguisag  to file a motion to dismiss the case on mistrial grounds.

Furthermore, Saguisag also said that De Lima could not get a fair trial since the President and his staff especially, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and presidential chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo would not stop saying that the senator was guilty.

“And for the President to keep condemning someone being tried by the court, it will really sway policemen, prosecutors and judges to tow the line,” Saguisag said.

“Dahil kung ikaw ay prosecutor o judge, you don’t want to get into trouble (with the President). You want to get promoted, e di susundin mo na lang yung sinasabi ng pangulo,” he added.

Saguisag compared De Lima’s case to US Supreme Court case in 1966, the Sheppard vs. Maxwell where the other party did not receive a fair trial due to prejudicial publicity. 

“Aside from the previous reasons we have cited, we will add the prejudicial statements of Mr. Duterte in our motion for the judge to dismiss the case due to mistrial,” says one of De Lima’s lawyer who wished not to be identified for lack of authority.  (One of the reasons the lawyer was referring to is the use of drug convicts’ statements as witnesses against De Lima during the series of hearings)

“Kaya bang magsalita ng judge kung nagsasalita na ang presidente (Is the judge need to say more if the President has already spoken)?” he added.