Palace hands off on SC decision to keep de Lima in jail

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MALACANANG distanced itself from the Supreme Court’s decision junking the petition of detained Sen. Leila de Lima to dismiss the illegal drugs charges against her.

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“That is within the Supreme Court’s purview, we leave it to them to address that,” Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said during a press conference on Tuesday.

The high court, voting 9-6, junked de Lima’s petition, thus upholding the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court’s (RTC) jurisdiction over her drug case.

The Supreme Court reached a decision in an en banc session on Tuesday.

De Lima said the Muntinlupa RTC committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing an arrest warrant when she still has a pending motion to quash.

The 58-year-old senator is accused of accepting drug money from prisoners when she was justice secretary from 2010 and 2015. She is not entitled to bail and, if found guilty, faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

De Lima has rejected the allegations, claiming she had been locked up to stop her from criticizing the administration’s war on drugs that has seen thousands of suspected criminals killed.

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