Transfer of 7 witnesses vs De Lima okay — DOJ

September 06, 2019
Menardo Guevarra

JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday said that he sees nothing wrong with the transfer of seven convicts who testified against Sen. Leila de Lima’s in her illegal drugs cases from the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa to the Marines barracks in Taguig.

“As long as court approval is secured I guess that should be okay, because the intention is not to provide any special treatment but to secure, precisely, these people who are in my understanding or recollection will be or are witnesses in an existing case,” Guevarra said in a chance interview.

“So it’s not for the purpose of giving them special treatment. But because their personal security is under threat,” he told reporters.

But Guevarra admitted that he was unsure if there was really a court order for the transfer.

Meanwhile, the camp of de Lima divulged that they were not advised that the seven convicts have been transferred already.

De Lima’s lawyer Filibon Tacardon said they were not informed about the transfer.

“No, we were not advised of the said transfer and we have no information about any order issued by the court on this matter,” he said.

De Lima is facing illegal drugs cases before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court. She is currently detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

A total of 13 Bilibid prisoners testified against her: Nonilo Arile, Jojo Baligad, Herbert Colanggo, Engelberto Durano, Rodolfo Magleo, Vicente Sy, Hans Tan, Froilan Trestiza, Peter Co, Noel Martinez, Joel Capones, German Agojo, and Jaime Patcho.