SC junks De Lima’s motion seeking dismissal of arrest order

  • The Supreme Court rejected anew De Lima’s bid to dismiss the arrest order against her
  • On the same day, the SC likewise declared unconstitutional the watch list order De Lima issued in 2011 against Arroyo
  • It remains to be seen whether Arroyo will file charges against the detained senator

MANILA, Philippines – On Tuesday, it can’t get any worse for detained Senator Leila De Lima.

This after the Supreme Court rejected her motion for reconsideration in her bid to overturn an early decision affirming the arrest order issued by the Muntinlupa court.

In October 2017, the SC already dismissed De Lima’s motion seeking to reverse the arrest order issued by Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court prior to her arrest in February 2017.

In that decision, the High Court acknowledged the RTC’s jurisdiction over De Lima’s charges of violation of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, despite the senator insisting the case information should be transferred to Sandiganbayan.

The SC maintained the same argument in its recent decision made public on Tuesday, April 16.

Arrest order vs. Arroyo unconstitutional

On the same day, the SC also declared as unconstitutional the watchlist order she issued against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when the senator was still the Justice Secretary.

“The Court voting unanimously declared Department of Justice (DOJ) Department Circular No. 41 as unconstitutional for being violative of the right to travel under Article III, Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution,” said SC Spokesman Theodore Te during a press conference in Baguio City.

The watchlist order, which was released via the DOJ Circular No. 41, became the basis to prevent Arroyo from leaving the country in 2011, until the SC issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against it.

Due to the recent development, it remains to be seen whether Arroyo will pursue charges against De Lima.