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Aguirre: Prosecutors plan to amend charges vs De Lima

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By Jeffrey Damicog

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said government prosecutors plan to amend the charges already filed against detained Senator Leila de Lima before the Muntinlupa Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC).

“I heard mag-aamend sila (I heard they would make amendments in the charges),” said Aguirre.

De Lima (left) and Aguirre (Manila Bulletin)

De Lima (left) and Justince Vitaliano Aguirre II
(Manila Bulletin File Photo)

“I don’t know kung itutuloy nila (I don’t know if they intend to push through). It’s the call of NPS (National Prosecution Service),” he added.

Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors filed before the Muntinlupa RTC three drug charges against de Lima in connection with her alleged involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

De Lima has been charged with violating Section 5 which is the sale, trading, administration, delivery, distribution and transportation of illegal drugs under Republic Act 9165, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Aguirre said prosecutors might amend the charges to Section 26 of RA 9165 for conspiracy to commit drug trading.

The trail against her is expected to push through after the Supreme Court (SC) recently voted 9-6 against the petition of de Lima who sought the nullification of the arrest order against her based on the drug charges she is facing.

Among the six magistrates who voted to grant the petition, Justice Antonio Carpio said in his dissenting opinion that the drug charges against her are “pure invention.”

To this, the Secretary assured it is not.

“That’s his opinion. Syempre may kanya-kanyang opinion yan (Of course each of them have their own opinion). But I don’t believe so,” Aguirre said.

“Kailan man di naging fake ang kasong yan (This has not been fake case). Otherwise, we shouldn’t prosecute it,” he pointed out.

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