Philippines Report

Another judge inhibits from De Lima’s drug case

Another judge from the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) inhibited herself from hearing a drug case of detained Senator Leila de Lima.

In her order dated January 23, Muntinlupa RTC Branch 203 Judge Myra Quiambao recused herself given her “very close relationship” with a prosecutor in the drug case.

Quiambao said Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Leila Llanes was her classmate in law school, and the godparent of her two children.

“In fact, when (my) husband State Prosecutor Nolibien Quimbao died last February 2017, SA City Prosecutor Llanes was with (me) at the hospital and throughout (my) bereavement, to date. She is like family to (me),” Quiambao explained.

 

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She added that majority of the prosecution panel members were her late husband's colleagues in the Department of Justice.

Quiambao is the second judge to inhibit from De Lima's drug case.

Branch 204 Judge Juanita Guerrero was the first one to recuse herself to avoid possible doubts on her integrity and impartiality. The case in her branch was raffled off to Quiambao.

“Let the records of this case be immediately forwarded to the Office of the Clerk of Court-Regional Trial Court for re-raffle,” Quiambao said in her order.

Meanwhile, Muntinlupa RTC Branch 205 Judge Amelia Fabros-Corpuz and Branch 206 Judge Patria Manalastas-De Leon are still handling De Lima's other cases.

De Lima is facing charges of attempt or conspiracy to trade illegal drugs when she was Justice Secretary.

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