MANILA, Philippines – Almost four months after a Muntinlupa court acquitted former senator Leila de Lima in one of her drug charges, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) challenged the court’s decision before the Court of Appeals.
In a message to Rappler on Monday, September 11, Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra confirmed that the OSG filed a petition for certiorari to challenge De Lima’s May 2023 acquittal.
“The OSG filed a petition for certiorari, not an appeal, with the Court of Appeals on September 4, 2023, on the ground of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the trial court judge,” he said.
Certiorari is a legal remedy used to seek a review of a lower court’s decision and to judicially rectify a jurisdictional error.
Rappler asked what triggered the filing of the petition, to which Guevarra replied, “This action was arrived at after extensive consultation with the DOJ (Department of Justice) panel of prosecutors and careful examination of the case records.”
The filing of the petition came after the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branch 204 in July affirmed its decision to acquit De Lima. In affirming its decision, the court denied the motion for reconsideration filed by the prosecution.
In May this year, Presiding Judge Abraham Joseph Alcantara cleared De Lima and former aide Ronnie Dayan of one of their drug charges. The acquittal means De Lima has only one more charge pending before Branch 206 – after a series of inhibitions and re-raffles.
Another Muntinlupa court already cleared her in one of the three charges in 2021. – Rappler.com