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Guevarra downplays DOJ strategy change in De Lima’s case: Purely administrative matter

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Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has assured there is nothing sinister in the reconstitution of the team handling the drug prosecution of detained Senator Leila De Lima.

“There’s nothing significant at all about this purely administrative matter that has been brought to my attention more than a month ago,” said Guevarra.

De Lima has already accused administration of President Rodrigo Duterte of using the full force of the government and its resources in securing her conviction in the three drug charges she is facing before the Muntinlupa City regional trial court (RTC).

She cited the Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued an order this month which named 11 trial prosecutors to handle her prosecution in the three drug charges she is facing before the Muntinlupa regional trial court (RTC).

With this, the DOJ also added a four person trial support and administrative team and a three-person administrative support staff.

The DOJ also named Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento as supervising head of these 18 persons.

De Lima, who had been justice secretary, called this “an unprecedented move to use the full force of the government and its resources against one detained Senator.”

“It is obvious what prompted this sudden change in strategy on the side of the government: The increasing clamor for Senator De Lima’s release even among senior US Senators and Duterte’s drug war now being exposed as a sham campaign to protect a flourishing drug trade run by this administration’s top cops,” she said.

Guevarra explained the team was already big from the start since “the prosecutors have to deal with three different cases with different sets of accused in three different courts, not to mention that they have to confer with some witnesses who are in prison.”

“The PG is there only to enhance coordination,” said Guevarra who also assured that the move has “absolutely nothing to do with US senators nor with so-called ninja cops.”

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