Rappler discusses the processes following the filing of criminal charges against Senator Leila de Lima
MANILA, Philippines – What will happen to Senator Leila de Lima after criminal charges connected to illegal drug trade are filed against her?
First is the issue of arrest. Only when a case has been raffled off to a branch can a warrant of arrest be issued.
Under rules of criminal procedure, a court shall issue an arrest warrant within ten days from the filing of a complaint should the judge find probable cause. Some judges take several days, some issue warrants immediately.
"Sa tanong niyo po kung sa Monday maaari nang mag issue ng warrant of arrest ang ating judge, ay kung sa pag-assess niya po ay mayroong probable cause, maaari na siyang mag-issue beginning Monday," Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said in a press conference on Friday.
(To answer your question if the judge can issue a warrant of arrest on Monday, if in his assessment there is probable cause, he can issue warrants starting Monday.)
Rappler could not immediately obtain a copy of the entirety of the charge sheet, which usually states bail recommendations for the accused, but whenasked on Friday, Aguirre said he believes the charges against de Lima are non-bailable.
“Ang alam ko non-bailable ‘yung violation kasi it is punishable by reclusion perpetua,” Aguirre said.
De Lima faces 3 counts of violation of Section 5 of the Dangerous Drugs Act. The Dangerous Drugs Act penalizes the "sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of illegal drugs."
Violators of Section 5 of the Dangerous Drugs Act face 12 years to life imprisonment. Under criminal procedures, "no person charged with an offense punishable by life imprisonment shall be admitted to bail regardless of the stage of the criminal prosecution."