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.
The cases have yet to be raffled off to a judge, who may issue an arrest warrant against De Lima and her co-accused, including former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Franklin Bucayu.
De Lima's co-accused in the three cases also include 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), Bucayu's former staff Wilfredo Elly, Presidential Security Group member Joenel Sanchez (De Lima's former security aide), and high profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian.
The DOJ, meanwhile, dismissed the complaints against former Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III for insufficiency of evidence.
Also dismissed were the complaints filed against inmates Herbert Colanggo, Engelberto Durano, Vicente Sy, Jojo Baligad, and Peter Co since they will be utilized as prosecution witnesses, according to the February 14 resolution prepared by the DOJ panel headed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong.
The resolution was approved by Prosecutor General Victor Sepulveda.
In a brief statement to Senate reporters, De Lima said she is a victim of political persecution.
"This is travesty of truth and justice. Plain and simple political persecution. I will fight this out for as long as I can. They can never break my spirit," she said.
De Lima had earlier said that she was expecting her arrest following Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II’s statement that the resolution on the cases filed against her will be out anytime soon.
Last week, the CA Special Sixth Division turned down a request from De Lima to stop the DOJ from deciding on the complaints against her, citing her alleged failure to show proof that she will suffer irreparable loss if her appeal is not granted.
De Lima is accused of tolerating drug syndicates inside the national penitentiary in exchange for campaign funds in the 2016 polls.
The cases came following the preliminary investigation conducted last December by a five-man DOJ panel on complaints forwarded by the National Bureau of Investigation, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, former NBI deputy directors former NBI deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala and NBP high profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian.
The senator dismissed the allegations, calling it a fabrication by the Duterte government which she criticized over the unexplained killings of drug suspects under its war on illegal drugs.
She also said the complaints should have been referred to the Office of the Ombudsman, which she believes has primary jurisdiction over cases involving government officials and employees.
Source: GMA News