The Supreme Court (SC) will vote on the case of Sen. Leila de Lima on October 10 to allow all the justices to submit their reflections and opinions on the lawmaker’s petition to nullify her arrest and dismiss the drug charges filed against her.
A source told The Manila Times that Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, the ponente of the case, has circulated the draft of the decision.
So far, five justices have issued their separate dissenting opinions favoring de Lima –Antonio Carpio, Marvic Leonen, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa and Francis Jardeleza.
The justices who favored Velasco’s ponencia were Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Diosdado Peralta and Samuel Martires.
De Lima, who is detained at the Philippine National Police’s custodial center, asked the high court to nullify the arrest warrant on drug trading charges issued against her by Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Juanita Guerrero.
De Lima has asked the SC to annul the order dated February 23, 2017, issued by Muntinlupa RTC Executive Judge and Branch 204 Judge Juanita Guerrero, for the issuance of an arrest warrant against her.
She claimed that Guerrero committed grave abuse of discretion because she issued the order despite the pendency of a motion to quash at the SC.
De Lima also claimed that it is the Office of the Ombudsman that has jurisdiction over her case since she was charged on the basis that she used her position as Secretary of Justice to commit the alleged criminal acts she been charged with.
The former Justice secretary was accused of soliciting money from inmates at the New Bilibid Prison through her “bagmen” — Rafael Ragos and Ronnie Dayan.
The senator maintained that there is not proof linking her to the illegal drug trade.