De Lima’s bribery case ‘up to the courts’ — DOJ

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla said that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has left the bribery case of former Senator Leila De Lima in the hands of the court.

This, after the latest ruling of the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB), absolved the direct and indirect bribery complaints filed against De Lima and her former aide Ronnie Dayan.

“It’s up to the courts,” Remulla said yesterday morning, in response to the resolution penned by the OMB.     

Remulla admitted several individuals and groups have already approached him seeking the DOJ’s withdrawal on De Lima’s bribery case.

“Dami na, diplomats mostly,” the justice secretary said, adding that he just had to explain the situation to them.

Meanwhile, DOJ Spokesperson Jose Dominic Clavano reminded the trial of the drug charges is ongoing. 

”We have already presented our evidence. It is former Senator De Lima’s turn to present hers,” Clavano said. 

The OMB dropped the complaints against De Lima and Dayan for an alleged attempt to extort P8 million from self-confessed drug lord Rolan “Kerwin” Espinosa in exchange for his protection.

In dismissing the complaint, the OMB cited the “glaring inconsistencies” in the testimonies of Espinosa and government witness Marcelo L. Adorco. 

The testimonies, it said, prevented the conclusion that De Lima and Dayan are probably guilty of the offenses charged against them.

“After a painstaking review of the records, it appears that there is no probable cause to indict the respondents (De Lima and Dayan) of the charges against them,” the OMB said in its resolution.

“The testimonies the complainant had presented failed to provide a clear, accurate, and consistent narration of facts crucial in determining whether the elements of Direct Bribery and Indirect Bribery exist,” it added.

The former opposition lawmaker has been detained at the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City since 2017.

De Lima is facing drug charges under Criminal Case Nos. 17-165 and 17-167 on her alleged involvement in the proliferation of illegal drug trading at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City when she was the justice secretary.

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