The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) plans to file charges against embattled Sen. Leila de Lima and the lawyer who notarized her allegedly “falsified” petition before the Supreme Court.
Solicitor General Jose Calida said de Lima and the notary public, Maria Cecille Tresvelles-Cabalo, could face administrative and criminal charges.
“It’s under study and preparation. Most likely falsification and administrative cases,” Calida told The Manila Times.
De Lima and Cabalo, sorority sisters at the Lamba Rho sorority of San Beda College of Law, have been accused by the OSG before the high court of fraud by making it appear that de Lima took her oath before Cabalo for the execution of the former’s petition for certiorari.
In a seven-page manifestation, government lawyers told the high tribunal it was physically impossible for Cabalo to have signed de Lima’s petition on February 24, 2017.
At the time, de Lima was already jailed at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame. The logbook did not contain Cabalo’s name, the OSG said. Police guards also executed affidavits stating that Cabalo wasn’t seen at the jail.
Falsification is a criminal act under the Revised Penal Code and the lawyers or parties participating therein can be charged with indirect contempt under the Rules of Court. It is also a ground for disbarment.
De Lima wants the high court to nullify her arrest warrant on drug trading charges, questioning the jurisdiction of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court where the cases were filed.
She claims the Office of the Ombudsman has jurisdiction over her case since she was charged on the basis that she used her previous position as secretary of Justice in relation to the alleged criminal acts, “specifically that she demanded, solicited and extorted money from [prison]inmates through her alleged intermediaries/bagmen.”
De Lima doubts ‘foreign intel’
On Thursday, de Lima called on President Rodrigo Duterte to make public the details of the supposed foreign intelligence report the government used as basis in the filing of drug-related charges against her.
“It might as well be intel from planet Mars or Jupiter. I highly doubt whether there is such a US (United States) intel,” de Lima said in a handwritten note sent to Senate reporters.
Duterte told senators over dinner on Tuesday that evidence against Lima was supplied by international intelligence sources, and were not trumped-up as the senator claims.
De Lima said that if the evidence against her was supplied by foreign sources, they were spurious or based on highly dubious and polluted sources.
“Another big lie! Incessant black propaganda,” she said. “May I assure my gullible colleagues in the Senate and our people that I have absolutely nothing to do with the illegal drug trade.”
De Lima, a leading critic of President Duterte, is on her third week at the PNP Custodial Center.
WITH A REPORT FROM JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA