A Muntinlupa regional trial courtroom (RTC) decide denied the prosecution’s movement to consolidate the three drug trafficking cases towards Sen. Leila de Lima.
Muntinlupa RTC Branch 204 Judge Juanita Guerrero stated in a two-page courtroom decision dated March 30, that she discovered no benefit to hear the three cases in a single courtroom as a result of they concerned totally different incidents.
The consolidation of the cases would solely delay the trial, stated Guerrero, the identical decide who ordered De Lima’s arrest in February.
This was opposite to the petition of the Department of Justice prosecutors which stated that consolidating the cases “is more practical… and [means to] avoid unnecessary costs and prevent the issuance of conflicting resolutions, orders and decisions.”
READ: Prosecutors need solely Judge Guerrero to hear De Lima raps
In a movement dated Feb. 27, the prosecution requested Guerrero to consolidate Criminal Cases No. 17-166 and 17-167 with Criminal Case No. 165, which was filed in her sala on the Muntinlupa RTC Branch (RTC) 204.
De Lima, who’s at present detained on the custodial middle of the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame, was accused of profiteering from the unlawful drug commerce contained in the National Bilibid Prison throughout her time period as justice secretary.
The charge sheets stated De Lima used the drug cash raised by the inmates as her marketing campaign kitty when she ran for senator in 2016.
Peter Ong, senior state assistant prosecutor from the DOJ, in a earlier interview stated the three complaints towards De Lima and her different co-accused might be tried collectively by a department of the Muntinlupa RTC as per Rule 119, Section 22 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.
The rule stated the consolidated cases needs to be assigned to the RTC department which hears the case with the bottom docket quantity.
Ong stated that they had filed a movement for reconsideration, insisting that there have been “commonalities” within the three cases.
He stated the charges had widespread accused, citing De Lima in all three cases, and her former safety aide Jad Dera on two cases.
“The incident itself, although in a span of three to four years, it is just one activity: the NBP drug trade. It is a series of offenses [founded on] similar facts,” he added.
Meanwhile, the listening to of one other grievance towards De Lima beneath Muntinlupa RTC Branch 205 Judge Amelia Fabros-Corpuz was rescheduled for June 30.
Filibon Tacardon, counsel of De Lima, stated it was to give the courtroom sufficient time to research for decision their motions together with motions to quash the charge, omnibus movement for juridical dedication of possible trigger, and movement to strike./rga
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