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Former Justice Sec. Aguirre believes Leila de Lima will be acquitted soon
Former Justice Sec. Aguirre believes Leila de Lima will be acquitted soon
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Former Justice Sec. Aguirre believes Leila de Lima will be acquitted soon
by Ellicia Del Mundo15 November 2023

Former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Thursday, Nov. 16, said he believes that the final illegal drug case of former Senator Leila de Lima will be dismissed and that she will be acquitted soon.

"We have to respect the decision report. 'Yan ang sinasabi, mahina ang ebidensya kaya dapat bigyan ng bail [..] Sa pronouncement ng husgado, sinasabi niya na mahina ang kaso against kay de Lima, kaya binigyan ng bail. That is a prelude, near to acquitting [former] Sen. de Lima," he said in an interview during DZRH Dos Por Dos.

Citing words of Senator Ronald 'Bato' dela Rosa, Aguirre said that a "case weakens whenever the administration changes."

"Dati hindi sila makakuha ng bail [pero] pagkatapos ng Duterte admin, nakakuha ng bail," he said.

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When asked if President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. influenced de Lima's bail grant, the former Justice Chief said: "Hindi ko masasabi, private 'yan. Kita niyo doon sa kanyang pahayag, panay ang pasasalamat niya kay PBBM."

"I believe that I am not in the position to answer that. Tao na lang ang humusga kung ano ang nangyari," he added.

De Lima 'has suffered enough'

However, he asserted that the evidence they presented against de Lima was strong.

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"Bago i-file ang kaso, kinuha namin ang malakas na ebidensya at naniniwala ako na malakas ang ebidensya na nakuha ko laban kay De Lima. We have the evidence. As a matter of fact, talagang napatotohanan ng prosecution na talamak ang drug trading diyan during her time. Mangyayari ba iyan without all the higher ups in the DOJ [Department of Justice] knowing this?" he said.

Nonetheless, the former Justice Chief said that de Lima's imprisonment for more than six years is enough.

"De Lima has suffered enough. Almost 7 years na siya doon, she has been separated from her loved ones. Sa palagay ko, if ever, tama yung pananaw namin noon, yung suffering na na-undergo niya is enough," he said.

Aguirre ready to face possible charges

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On Tuesday, Nov. 14, former Senate President Franklin Drilon advised de Lima's camp to hold Aguirre "accountable for the crime of subornation of perjury".

Drilon cited the report that Aguirre allegedly coerced former Correction officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos, the star witness in the drug case, to make a false allegation against de Lima.

But Aguirre claimed that his conscience is clean and that he only fulfilled his role as Justice Secretary during that time.

"Sa katunayan, mahabang panahon ang ginugol namin para mabuo ang case against [former] Secretary De Lima. Hindi tatagal ang kasong 'yan kung hindi mabigat ang kaso," he added.

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Despite this, the former Justice Chief expressed readiness to face the possible cases that de Lima's camp would file against him.

"Handa akong harapin kung ano man ang isasampa nilang demanda sa akin. Pero yung mga nag-recant, ayan ay hindi tinitingnan ng korte," Aguirre said.

In a press conference after she was released from police custody, de Lima said she and her team would be discussing the next legal actions against those who persecuted her.

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