The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Solicitor General can’t agree on what charges jailed senator Leila de Lima should face in court.
During a high court hearing on the case, former solicitor General Floring Hilbay pointed out that the two arms of the legal system were at odds.
While the DOJ says she violated Section 5 (Illegal Drug Trading) of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the Office of the Solicitor General says she committed Section 26 (conspiracy to commit drug trading).
Mr Hilbay said the shift from the charge of ‘consummated drug trading’ to mere conspiracy, “is the clearest admission that Senator De Lima is not a drug lord.”
“The shift away from illegal drugs as the corpus delicti (body of the crime) to mere agreement to trade in illegal drugs is a clear admission the government’s accusations are not supported by evidence.”
He added that the case against de Lima was like prosecuting someone for murder without the evidence of killing or for theft without any evidence of anything stolen. He also noted that the allegations against de Lima rested on the testimony of convicted felons.
Senator de Lima is accused of being a king-pin in the illegal drugs trade within Bilibid Prison when she was justice secretary.
Her supporters claim that the charges are trumped up and part of an ongoing feud between her and the president.