De Lima Asks Court of Appeals to Prohibit Convicts from Testifying Against Her - The Daily Sentry

Monday, November 26, 2018

De Lima Asks Court of Appeals to Prohibit Convicts from Testifying Against Her

Senator Leila De Lima (Photo credit to Manila Bulletin)
On Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, Senator Leila de Lima, subsequent to being rejected by a preliminary court, has allegedly asked for the Court of Appeals (CA) to restrict indicted detainees from testifying for the administration's illicit medications bodies of evidence against her.

The detained senator was reported to request the invalidation of Muntinlupa Judge Lorna Navarro-Domingo's orders, denying her motion to exclude 13 convicts as arraignment witnesses. This, she assertedly filed in a petition dated November 19.

Senator Leila De Lima (Photo credit to Inquirer)
The 13 convicts and prosecution's witnesses allegedly are Nonilo Arile, Jojo Baligad, Herbert Colangco, Engelberto Durano, Rodolfo Magleo, Vicente Sy, Hans Tan, Froilan Trestiza, Peter Co, Noel Martinez, Joel Capones, German Agojo, and Jaime Patcho, and all are serving jail sentences for wrongdoings including burglary, murder, manslaughter, and infringement of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

Crimes that according to De Lima fall under offenses that involve moral turpitude and accordingly must be precluded from getting to be State Witnesses.

"They are therefore disqualified from becoming State Witnesses under Section 10(f) of RA 6981," the senator disputed.

Likewise, De Lima purportedly asked for a temporary restraining order, a writ of prohibition, barring the judge, from permitting the Department of Justice (DOJ) for exhibiting the 13 witnesses, hence, told the Court of Appeals that Judge Domingo had acted with grave maltreatment of discretion by turning down her motion to disqualify the 13 inmates in spite of having been indicted for wrongdoings including moral turpitude.

Senator Leila De Lima escorted by police (Photo credit to Manila Bulletin)
The senator quoted Section 20, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, which states, among others, that "conviction of a crime unless otherwise provided by law," is not a ground for witness disqualification", thus, pursued this up by referring to Section 10 of the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act, which declared that a state witness ought not have been sentenced for any crime including moral turpitude.

De Lima additionally affirmed that the witnesses were "illegally " conceded into the administration's Witness Protection Program, hitting DOJ's prior affirmation that the 13 sentenced criminals are "ordinary witnesses", and were allegedly granted immunity.

"They maintain that the 13 criminal convicts are ordinary witnesses, but they cannot deny the fact that the criminal convicts were granted immunity under Sec. 12 of RA 6981," the detained senator said.

In addition, De Lima pronounced that the supposed criminals convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude, ought to be considered unreliable and untrustworthy State Witnesses, so in this manner, should be disqualified for being one.

"Respondent Judge [Domingo] cannot, without committing grave abuse of discretion, ignore this unanimity in Congress' and the judiciary's treatment of criminals convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude as unreliable and untrustworthy State Witnesses, thereby disqualifying them from becoming such.", she exclaimed.

De Lima who has been detained since February 2017, stands trial for her supposed inclusion in the medication exchange inside the New Bilibid Prison assertedly in return for funds for her 2016 senatorial campaign, however, the senator has over and again renounced the allegations.

Sen. De Lima (Photo credit to Time Magazine)

Source: GMA News