The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) asked the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday to junk Sen. Leila De Lima's petition to set aside her arrest warrant for drug charges.
De Lima's lawyers filed the petition on Feb. 27, arguing that Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Judge Juanita Guerrero committed grave abuse of discretion for allowing De Lima's arrest even though she had a pending motion to quash the charges against her.
In its comment, the OSG said Guerrero did not commit grave abuse of discretion and that she did not need to resolve De Lima's motion to quash before issuing an arrest warrant.
It also reminded the high court of De Lima's alleged defiance when she ignored its stay order by barring former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from leaving the country.
In its petition, De Lima's camp also argued that the Justice Department's charge sheet was faulty, as it contained no direct evidence that the senator traded in illegal drugs and no evidence that she gave any order to protect drug lords.
"Sino ang nagbenta? Sino ang bumili? Nasaan ang droga at kung anong gramo?" Atty. Fhillip Sawali, one of De Lima's lawyers, told CNN Philippines on Feb. 27. "At saka saan ang alegasyon ng paggamit ng cellphone? Wala ho eh."
However, the OSG argued that the inmates at the New Bilibid Prison could not have conducted their illegal drug trading without the "indispensable cooperation" of De Lima, former Bureau of Corrections officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos and De Lima's former driver and alleged bagman Ronnie Dayan.
The OSG said conspiracy to sell or trade dangerous drugs is a crime in itself, even if no drugs were traded.
The agency added the identity and quality of the drugs sold cannot be treated as essential elements of the crime.
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