Leila de Lima

De Lima sues DOJ’s witness for drug trade conspiracy

Lian Buan
De Lima sues DOJ’s witness for drug trade conspiracy

Senator Leila de Lima is escorted back to Camp Crame after being discharged from the Manila Doctors Hospital on April 27, 2021.

Sourced Photo

De Lima anchors her personal knowledge on the fact that she personally heard the testimony during trial

Jailed opposition senator Leila De Lima sued for drug trading conspiracy Bilibid convict Joel Capones, who was the Department of Justice or DOJ’s bombshell witness against her.

De Lima filed on Wednesday, June 9, before the Muntinlupa Prosecutor’s Office a complaint against Capones for violating Section 26(b) in relation to Section 5 of the Anti Dangerous Drugs Act, or conspiracy to commit drug trading, which is the same charge she’s facing.

After De Lima was acquitted in one of the 3 drug charges against her, and in light of testimonies from drug convicts denying any personal knowledge of De Lima’s involvement, the DOJ prosecution brought out Capones in February.

Capones testified that he personally saw the late Jaybee Sebastian show money to De Lima inside Bilibid in March 2014. Capones admitted he followed orders from Sebastian to trade drugs inside prison allegedly to raise funds for De Lima’s senatorial campaign.

Capones was not among those who were initially sued alongside De Lima, but were dropped from the charges after being used as government witnesses.

Must Read

4 years later, 2 NBI agents stand in the way of De Lima’s freedom

4 years later, 2 NBI agents stand in the way of De Lima’s freedom

De Lima anchors her personal knowledge on the fact that she personally heard the testimony during trial, saying that “considering I was physically present when Mr. Capones made his confession, I have personal knowledge of Mr. Capones’ testimony.”

“The judicial confession made by Mr. Capones may be used against him,” said De Lima in her complaint.

Section 33, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules on Evidence says “an act or declaration made in the presence and within the hearing or observation of a party” may be used as evidence.

Citing that rule, De Lima said the confession during trial “constitutes evidence that [he] indeed committed the crime of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading and that he should be held liable and prosecuted therefor.”

Although De Lima’s lawyers indicated in the complaint that it’s not a countersuit, it’s an indication of a more aggressive legal strategy in the two remaining cases for conspiracy to commit drug trading.

De Lima has also written the Board of Pardons and Parole, asking it to give a negative assessment of Capones’ application.

De Lima has also sent Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra a written appeal letter. She said that if the DOJ is serious about finding out the truth in the Bilibid drug trade, they must prosecute those who already confessed to having knowledge about it. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.