Muntinlupa court junks motion to consolidate De Lima drug cases

(Eagle News) — A Muntinlupa court on Friday denied the prosecution’s request to consolidate the three drug cases Senator Leila de Lima is charged with.

In a resolution, Regional Trial Court  Juanita Guerrero said she found no merit in consolidating the cases lodged in her sala, Branch 204, and in Branches 205 and 206.

She said the cases involve different incidents.

She added that consolidating the cases would only prolong the trial.

In filing the motion to consolidate in March, the Department of Justice argued that the three cases, while separately filed, all pertain to the senator’s alleged role in the illegal drug trading in the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.

They argued that while there was a gap of several years among the incidents cited in the cases, these pertain to only one activity: the illegal drug trading in the national penitentiary.

They added that all three cases also involve one accused, De Lima.

The senator, who yielded to authorities in February, is detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

She has filed a petition with the Supreme Court, which seeks to invalidate the arrest order issued against her by Guerrero.