De Lima cases, courts’ call — DoJ

The Department of Justice (DoJ) stressed on Wednesday that the agency will leave it up to the courts to decide on the cases filed against former Senator Leila de Lima following the latest ruling of the Ombudsman that absolved the former lawmaker and justice secretary regarding her bribery charges at the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB).

DoJ Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said that it will be up to the courts on which action they would take in connection to the Ombudsman’s dismissal of the direct and indirect bribery complaints filed against De Lima and her former aide Ronnie Dayan.

To recall, the Ombudsman dismissed the complaints against De Lima and Dayan on alleged attempt to extort P8 million from self-confessed drug lord Rolan “Kerwin” Espinosa in exchange for his protection.

The Ombudsman cited the “glaring inconsistencies” in the testimonies of Kerwin 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,” said the Ombudsman in its resolution.

“The inconsistencies in the testimonies of the complaint’s witnesses cannot be brushed as trivial or inconsequential. The incongruities pertain to material details that cast doubt on the veracity of the accusation that De Lima, through Dayan, had collected bribe money from Kerwin,” it added.

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