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Topacio lectures ‘ignorant’ De Lima on filing of cases


Victims Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) lawyer Ferdinand Topacio has called Senator Leila de Lima “ignorant” for saying that the drug raps against her should have been filed before the Office of the Ombudsman and not with the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“She seems ignorant of the fact that in the case of Honasan v. Panel of Prosecutors (G.R. No. 159747, 13 April 2004), the Supreme Court has held that the DOJ has concurrent jurisdiction in recognizing cases against public officers involving violations of penal laws,” he said in a statement.

“In simple terms, for the benefit of Sen. De Lima, it means that a case against her may be validly and properly filed before the DOJ,” he added.

Just last Tuesday (October 12), the VACC filed before the DOJ a complaint against De Lima for violation Section 5 (sale) in relation to Section 26(b) (conspiracy to sell) of the Dangerous Drug Act of 2002.

However, De Lima questioned the filing as inappropriate, saying it should have been brought before the Ombudsman.

Included in the complaint aside from De Lima were former Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III, former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Franklin Jesus Bucayu, her former aide Joenel Sanchez, her former driver Ronnie Dayan, her nephew Jose Adrian Dera, Bucayu’s alleged bagman Wilfredo Ely, and Bilibid inmate and crime boss Jaybee Sebstian.

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