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Walang K! Hilbay explains why high-profile inmates can’t testify vs. De Lima

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The high-profile inmates of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) shouldn’t be allowed to testify on the drug charges filed against Senator Leila De Lima.

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay raised this point during Tuesday’s (March 14)oral arguments at the Supreme Court (SC) regarding De Lima’s petition to nullify her arrest order.

“Let me just point out that these model citizens of the republic are not even qualified to be state witnesses under Rule 119, Section 17 and Section 33 of Republic Act 9165 (Dangerous Drugs Act) for the simple and understable reason that they have been convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude, an express disqualification under the Rules of Court and the Dangerous Drugs Act,” he said in his opening statement before the SC.

Hilbay noted that the witnesses who will testify against De Lima are Norile Arile who is convicted of murder and kidnapping; Jojo Baligad, homicide; Herbet Colanggo, robbery; Engelberto Durano, frustrated murder and murder; Rodolfo Magleo, kidnapping; Noel Martinez, kidnapping for ransom; Vicente Sy, drug trafficking; Hans Tan, robbery and direct assault with murder; Froilan Trestiza, kidnapping; and Peter Co, drug trafficking.

During the hearings conducted by the House Committee on Justice on the NBP drug controversy, the inmates testified that they gave De Lima millions of pesos worth of protection money, which she then used to fund her campaign kitty last year.