De Lima asks SC Justice Velasco to inhibit from her case

07-Oct-2017 Intellasia | Philstar | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Detained Sen. Leila De Lima has asked Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. to not join the high court in ruling on her petition seeking the nullification of her arrest and the halt of her indictment on drug charges due to conflict of interest.

In a 10-page motion for inhibition filed before the Supreme Court, De Lima pointed out that Velasco was the lone voter for the acquittal of German Agojo, one of the witnesses in the drug raps against her.

“In the case a quo, German Agojo, the drug lord Justice Velasco moved to be acquitted, figures prominently not only as an integral witness for the prosecution but also as a Complainant herein Petitioner in several criminal and administrative cases,” the motion reads.

“The inordinate link and actuations of Justice Velasco with regard to German Agojo will significantly taint the credibility of the impending decision of the Honorable Supreme Court if he is to participate in the deliberations of the instant case and allowed to signify his position accordingly.”

“It is settled in our jurisprudence that the cold neutrality of an impartial judge is an essential part of due process. Thus, it is necessary for the judge to reassure litigants of his being fair and being just,” De Lima stressed.

De Lima has asked the SC to declare null the warrant of arrest that emanated from the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Branch 204. She has also asked the SC to issue a halt order on the proceedings against her.

The senator insisted that the Sandiganbayan, and not the Department of Justice, has jurisdiction over the case against her.

The DOJ indicted De Lima and several others for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. She is accused of drug trading.

De Lima, who is the staunchest critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, has earlier accused the government of using its resources to pin her down.

The SC heard the petition of De Lima’s team, led by former Solicitor general Florin Hilbay, through oral arguments last March.

De Lima is currently detained at the police headquarters at Camp Crame.


Category: Philippines

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