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Wish granted! Muntinlupa judge inhibits from De Lima’s case

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Judge Juanita Guerrero of the Muntinlupa City regional trial court (RTC) Branch 204 has decided to inhibit herself from handling one of the drug case against Senator Leila De Lima.

Guerrero made the move in response to the motion filed by De Lima which sought to have the magistrate inhibited.

In her recent order, Guerrero explained she inhibited herself “in order not to cast doubt on the integrity and impartiality of the Presiding Judge and to disabuse the mind of the accused and her counsel who have expressed serious doubts on her objectivity in resolving this case due to the adverse orders issued against her, the court, acting on its sound discretion, voluntarily inhibits herself from further hearing the case.”

On the other hand, the judge reminded “a mere imputation of bias or partiality without any proof or evidence is not a ground for a judge to inhibit in further proceeding with a case.”

The Senator pointed out in her motion that the magistrate “displayed an unseemly and undue haste” in the issuance of the arrest warrant against De Lima who is currently detained at the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame.

“The glaringly clear, single-minded over-eagerness to detain accused De Lima based on an invalid information that is irredeemably and irreparably tainted and made defective by, among others, the rampant and blatant violation of accused De Lima’s rights, is quite evident,” read her motion.