Prosecution’s judicial affidavit defective, De Lima says

Font Size

THE camp of detained Senator Leila M. De Lima has challenged the Court’s admission of the opposition’s judicial affidavit of its witness and Oriental Mindoro Representative Reynaldo V. Umali.

The Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court (QC MeTC) Branch 34 was supposed to hold a hearing on the prosecution’s presentation of evidence, but the Court, instead, tackled the Motion for Reconsideration on the Admission of the Judicial Affidavit filed last July 18.

Atty. Teodoro Rigoroso, counsel for Ms. De Lima, pointed out that the original and the amended judicial affidavit of Mr. Umali bear the same date of May 17, 2017. Mr. Rigoroso raised that the jurat and judicial affidavit were not properly executed.

A judicial affidavit is a written statement of a witness sworn under oath. Meanwhile, a jurat is the clause at the end of the document, like an affidavit, stating the date, place, and name of the person before whom it was sworn. It also serves as proof of an oath taken before an administering officer.

Mr. Rigoroso said that the “signature page was not changed, but the contents were altered.”

“Second or corrected judicial affidavit was not properly attested. In the point [of view] of law, [it is] not truly a judicial affidavit,” Mr. Rigoroso argued.

In a separate hearing at the Supreme Court (SC), the legality of Ms. De Lima’s jurat in her petition regarding her drug case pending Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court was earlier challenged by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).

QC MeTC Judge Ma. Ludmila D. Pio-Lim clarified with the prosecution if the witness executed a judicial affidavit, to which the prosecution answered in the affirmative.

“The judicial affidavit was changed — to add or delete certain matters. Were these changes effected on the same day (May 17, 2017)?” Ms. Pio-Lim asked.

Ms. Pio-Lim gave the prosecution ten days to submit their comment on the issue raised by Ms. De Lima’s camp.

The Court has reset the hearing for the prosecution’s admission of evidence on August 25 to pave way for Ms. De Lima’s motion for reconsideration.

The case stemmed from Ms. De Lima’s alleged advice to her former aide Ronnie P. Dayan to skip the House of Representatives’ Justice Committee’s hearing on the proliferation of drug trade inside the national penitentiary.

Ms. De Lima is currently detained in the police headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City for the drug trading charges. — Kristine Joy V. Patag