A REGIONAL court in Muntinlupa denied on Friday the motion of Senator Leila M. de Lima and her co-accused Ronnie P. Dayan for reconsideration of the decision to proceed with the illegal drug trade case against them.

“The Court stands with its Omnibus Order that accused De Lima and Dayan must present their evidence to prove their innocence of the crime charged,” reads the latest ruling from the Regional Trial Court Branch 205 relating to Criminal Case No. 17-165.

It further said that it is the discretion of the court to summarize the facts of the case after reading all the records, and that “it does not deprive accused De Lima the opportunity to exculpate herself if she can convincingly refute this Court’s initial findings.”

Ms. de Lima and Mr. Dayan have asserted that the prosecution failed “to prove beyond reasonable doubt” their alleged involvement in illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison.

The senator, a staunch critic of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, is on trial for alleged involvement in illegal drug trade in the country’s national penitentiary when she was still Justice secretary, and for allegedly using the millions of pesos from the trading to finance her senatorial campaign in 2016.

She has been jailed at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame since February 2017. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago