De Lima: I’m preparing for a more difficult 2018

MANILA, Philippines – As early as now, detained Senator Leila de Lima is already preparing for a more difficult year ahead.

The senator has appealed the Supreme Court (SC) ruling that denied her plea to nullify the Muntinlupa court’s issuance of an arrest warrant against her, but De Lima said she was preparing for the consequences if her petition would be denied.

It will be physically and emotionally taxing because I intend to personally attend the hearings,” De Lima said in a statement released on Saturday, January 6.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is amending its information in the 3 counts of drug trade they filed against the senator before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC). The DOJ is heeding the advice of the SC to fix an information criticized as being insufficient.

Once the trial begins, De Lima said she would need to control her emotions in the courtroom, particularly when the state's witnesses take the stand.

“It will be tough and difficult to repeatedly listen to perjured testimonies during those hearings.  That’s why as early as now, I should be able to psyche myself up to control my emotion when listening to lies because I expect to hear lies and more lies,” De Lima said.

De Lima began her 2018 court battle with a hearing on Friday, January 5, at the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court, for the disobedience to summons case filed against her by House lawmakers. This stemmed from supposedly discouraging her former bodyguard and boyfriend, Ronnie Dayan, to attend a congressional inquiry in 2016.

House justice committee chairman Reynaldo Umali said he would have never filed the case against his sorority sister had De Lima apologized. The Oriental Mindoro 2nd District representative said the case was meant to restore respect to the House of Representatives.

De Lima, a fierce critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, has been detained  at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center since late February 2017. – 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.

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