DOJ files illegal drugs charges vs Sen. De Lima

MANILA — The Department of Justice (DoJ) on Friday filed three counts of illegal drugs charges before the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) against Senator Leila De Lima and several others in connection to her alleged involvement in the illegal drugs trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

In a press conference held at National Bureau of investigation (NBI), Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said no arrest warrant yet will be issued against De Lima since the case will be raffled at Muntinlupa RTC on Monday afternoon.

De Lima was charged before the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court for violation of Section 5 (sale and trading of illegal drugs) in relation to Section 3 (jj); Section 26 (b), and Section 28 (criminal liability of government officials and employees) of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

De Lima’s co-accused in the three cases were her former driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan; former BuCor officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos; Jose Adrian Dera (alleged nephew and close-in security of De Lima); former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Franklin Jesus Bucayu; Bucayu’s former staff Wilfredo Elly; Presidential Security Group member Joenel Sanchez (De Lima’s former security aide); and high profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian.

In a 52-page resolution dated Feb. 14 but was released to media on Friday, the DOJ dismissed the complaints against former Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III for insufficiency of evidence.

Prosecutors also dismissed the complaints against high-profile Bilibid inmates Herbert Colanggo, Engelberto Durano, Vicente Sy, Jojo Baligad and Wu Tuan Yuan, also known as Peter Co, since “they will be utilized as Prosecution witnesses.” Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/