MANILA, Philippines – Calling the proceedings a mere “charade,” Senator Leila de Lima asked the Court of Appeals (CA) to stop the justice department’s investigation into her alleged links to the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison.
De Lima, through her lawyer Filinon Fabela Tacradon, filed on Tuesday, January 24, a petition for prohibition and certiorari, seeking the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) or a writ of preliminary injunction to stop the Department of Justice (DOJ) panel of prosecutors from conducting proceedings on the cases against her.
The former justice secretary is facing 4 separate criminal complaints, where she is accused of coddling drug lords and conspiring to allow the illegal drug trade inside the prison. De Lima also faces a complaint for “willfully, knowingly, and unlawfully” advising her former driver and alleged bagman Ronnie Dayan not to testify during the House inquiry into the controversy.
De Lima said the DOJ probe’s aim was to persecute her for her vocal criticism of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
“Given that the respondent DOJ panel has caused and has the propensity to cause the continued violation of petitioner’s rights, causing and threatening to cause imminent, grave and irreparable injury on him, a TRO and a subsequent preliminary injunction are in order,” De Lima said.
The senator also said that since she is an elected government official, it is the Ombudsman, not the DOJ, which has jurisdiction over cases against her.
De Lima said that by insisting on continuing the probe, the DOJ committed grave abuse of discretion, and her right to a “competent investigative authority and an impartial panel” had been “capriciously and whimsically curtailed” by the DOJ panel.
She also argued that the DOJ panel verbally denied her right to submit counter-affidavits in cases jointly heard by the said panel; and that it verbally denied her request in her Omnibus Motion to immediately endorse the cases to the Ombudsman, among others.
“Thus, there are more than sufficient reasons to resort to the extraordinary writs of prohibition and certiorari to correct the grave abuse of discretion committed by it,” De Lima said. – Rappler.com