She bemoans — almost daily — her continued detention on a drug trading conspiracy charge, yet detained Sen. Leila de Lima keeps on delaying her trial instead of speeding it up, for her to prove her empty claims that the charges leveled against her by the Department of Justice are trumped up.
It has been over a year since she was ordered detained by three Regional Trial Court (RTC). Trial has hardly begun as Leila, non-stop, has submitted motion after motion, even as she certainly knows that submitting motions to the courts would delay her cases even longer.
Very recently, Leila, in yet another motion, all of 13 pages of it, called for one of the three Muntinlupa RTC judges hearing her case to recuse herself on account of the judge’s “manifest partiality, bias and hostility.”
The reason for Leila’s call for inhibition of the judge? The detained senator claimed that Judge Lorna Navarro-Domingo prematurely ruled against her motion to disqualify 13 previously convicted witnesses despite her own order giving her five days to file a reply to the prosecution’s comment.
Said Leila in her motion: “This means that the Honorable Judge already had a pre-determined resolution of the Motion even before Accused filed her Reply. This clearly constitutes an act of prejudgment, reflecting the Honorable Judge’s manifest bias, partiality and hostility against the Accused.”
Earlier, Leila had asked the court to disqualify convicted witnesses pointing out that the law, specifically Republic Act 6981 — or the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act — states that the witness must not have been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude.
The witnesses set to testify against the senator mostly are prisoners in the New Bilibid Prison, most of whom Leila is alleged to have conspired with on drug trading.
Leila cited the law on the Witness Protection Program, despite the fact that these prisoner-witnesses who are willing to testify against De Lima, have not been placed under the government’s WPP, as they are still in their jail cells together with all other prisoners.
The court issued a ruling denying Leila’s motion. The court also scheduled that one of the witnesses, a convicted criminal, Engelberto Durano, to take the witness stand.
But the hearing has been postponed due to the inhibition motion of De Lima.
Earlier, Judge Navarro-Domingo had already ruled against the detained senator’s motion to disqualify the prisoner-witnesses, also citing a law allowing the prisoners to bear witness against the senator.
Leila got back at the judge by demanding the RTC judge hearing her case to inhibit herself from hearing the case, claiming the judge was guilty of prejudgment.
Much earlier, De Lima also had demanded the recusal of another RTC judge who was first to order her arrest. Last year she asked Judge Juanita Guerrero to inhibit herself from the case, accusing her of partiality in issuing her warrant of arrest, not immediately acting on her motion to quash and in scheduling her arraignment despite the pending motion to quash before the RTC and a motion for reconsideration before the Supreme Court.
Leila succeeded in having Judge Guerrero inhibit herself from the case.
It is not far-fetched that the detained senator, despite not having any basis in law and in fact, will seek the inhibition of yet another judge and courtroom, in the hope of delaying her trial, where witnesses are expected to recount the illegal activities where money changed hands.
Deliberately delaying her trial will just keep her in detention for a much longer period and she certainly knows this. But perhaps, Leila is hoping that a change of administration will enable her to get herself freed from detention?
If so, she may just have to rot longer in her cell as the yellows are not likely to capture political power in the near future.
Already, her yellow political patron, Noynoy Aquino, like her, will have to face the music over his Disbursement Acceleration Program fund which he and his yellows used to bribe the House and Senate members to impeach and convict the then sitting chief justice, the late Renato Corona.
And these frigging yellows had the nerve to claim that their yellow president is not corrupt and that they walk the straight path?
And here is Leila, who also claims that she is not corrupt and is a political prisoner? What hypocrisy these yellows exude!
It is becoming much clearer that she wants to bar prisoner-witnesses to testify against her, mainly because, the nation and even her Rights Group will finally realize that they have been protecting and coddling a conspirator in the prison’s drug trade.