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Pa-birthday na ‘yan! De Lima prods court to grant her bail

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As her birthday draws near, detained Senator Leila De Lima has asked a Muntinlupa City court to grant her bail since the prosecution presented weak evidence against her during the trial of her drug charges.

In her 138-page motion for bail ad cautelam filed before Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 205, the senator, who turns 61 years old this Aug. 27, said that Constitution states that “the right to bail is a matter of right when the evidence of guilt is not strong.”

“Jurisprudence3 likewise holds that the determination of whether the evidence of guilt is strong is a matter of judicial discretion and remains with the judge,” she said.

“Consequently, the judge is under legal obligation to conduct a hearing, whether summary or otherwise, in the discretion of the court, to determine the existence of strong evidence or lack of it against the accused to enable the judge to make an intelligent assessment of the evidence presented by the parties,” she added.

So far, the lawmaker said the records show “clear absence of any ‘sufficient admissible’ evidence, much less ‘strong’ evidence, that will support her alleged guilt for violation of Section 26(b), in relation to Section 5 and Section 3(jj) of Republic Act No. 9165 (“R.A. 9165”).”

“On the contrary, the record is replete with evidence presented by the Prosecution itself that support the innocence of herein Accused De Lima,” the motion stressed.

De Lima noted that out of the 37 witnesses listed by the prosecution only 17 were so far presented during the trial.

“And after presenting aforenamed seventeen (17) witnesses, the Prosecution not only failed to provide strong evidence of guilt against Accused De Lima, it, in fact, proved that this case has absolutely nothing to do with illegal drugs,” the lawmaker stated.

De Lima is currently detained at the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Crame, Quezon City over three drug charges she is facing concerning her alleged involvement in the proliferation of the narcotics trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

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