Feb 10, 2021 @ 13:32

Witness’ testimony weakened case vs de Lima, lawyer claims

A prosecution witness in the illegal drugs case filed against Sen. Leila de Lima has denied any involvement in alleged drug transactions inside the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.

This development, according to de Lima’s lawyer, only weakened the Justice Department’s case against the embattled legislator.

“He (witness Noel Martinez) also clarified that he had never made any transaction with the accused—from Sen. de Lima; her former aides Ronnie Dayan and Joenel Sanchez; former Bureau of Corrections chief Jesus Bucayu and his staff Wilfredo Elli; and police asset Jad Dera—they had no personal transaction, especially with drugs,” said Atty. Rolly Peoro.

“It was Martinez himself who told the court that he had no personal drug transactions, only referrals as these were transactions made outside Bilibid and he had no involvement with these. For us, his statements would weaken the claim of the prosecution,” he added.

Martinez appeared on Tuesday before the Muntinlupa City regional trial court Branch 256, which was handling one of the illegal drugs charges filed against de Lima, as a witness for the prosecution. He made the admission during cross-examination.

Earlier, Peoro disclosed that Branch 256 has allowed de Lima to go on medical furlough.

According to Peoro, Judge Romeo Buenaventura gave de Lima 24 hours to undergo medical examinations at the Manila Doctors Hospital where her physicians are based.

“This (request for medical furlough) is still way back in 2018, 2019. Now, we really need it, it was just delayed because of the pandemic,” the lawyer said.

On Tuesday, de Lima attended a court hearing before Branch 256, which was handling one of her illegal drugs cases.

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