SC assigns new judge to handle one of de Lima’s drugs cases
The Supreme Court on Thursday appointed Manila regional trial court Judge Grace Chavez-Ty as acting presiding judge of Muntinlupa RTC Branch 256, who will handle one of the illegal drugs cases lodged against Sen. Leila de Lima.
Her designation was contained in Administrative Order No. 38-2020 signed by Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta.
Just the other day, de Lima asked SC to assign another judge to handle one of her drugs cases now pending before the Muntinlupa City regional trial court.
This as de Lima disclosed that Judge Antonietta Medina has informed her camp that she will be no longer conducting any more hearings in Criminal Case No. 17-167 entitled People of the Philippines vs. de Lima, Bucayu, Elli, Sebastian, Dayan, Sanchez, and Dera.
According to de Lima, Medina has already inhibited twice in one of her pending cases before the Muntinlupa City RTC.
“In view of the foregoing developments, we fervently hope that your good office would act earnestly and immediately on the matter of appointing a presiding judge to hear Criminal Case No. 17-167 pending before RTC Muntinlupa Branch 256,” de Lima said in a letter addressed to Marquez.
Branch 256 was handling one of de Lima’s anti-drugs cases, which was filed by the DOJ following her alleged complicity in illegal drugs trade when she was still the justice secretary.
De Lima is currently detained at the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Crame, Quezon City as she faces three drug charges filed by Department of Justice before the courts.
The charge sheet accused de Lima and Bucayu of tolerating the “widespread drug trade” inside the maximum security compound. This was from May 2013 to May 2015, according to the charge sheet.
De Lima and Bucayu allegedly conspired with Elli, a former police; and Sanchez, who was a member of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) assigned to De Lima, to again extort money from unnamed inmates.
This time, the inmates were able to allegedly produce P70 million, which was given to De Lima through Sebastian, Sanchez, and a certain Jad De Vera. Part of the money was also allegedly given to Bucayu through Elli.