Former senator Leila De Lima acknowledges her supporters outside the courtroom on Friday, May 12, saying that her acquittal in one of the two remaining drug cases filed six years ago was an answered prayer.
Judge Joseph Abraham Alcantara of the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branch 204 said the retraction of former Bureau of Corrections chief Rafael Ragos that he was coerced into testifying that De Lima received P10 million from high-profile inmates at the New Bilibid Prison had “created reasonable doubt,” warranting her acquittal.
De Lima was charged with conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading.
However, the former senator will remain in detention at the PNP Custodial Center because of the pending case at the Muntinlupa RTC Branch 256 in which De Lima was accused of tolerating the widespread drug trade inside the NBP maximum security compound. This has a pending petition for bail.
In 2021, De Lima was acquitted on the first charge of conspiracy in which she was accused of extorting P30 million from inmate Peter Co in 2016. – Photos contributed to VERA Files