There are four overriding factors which should have fully warranted the grant of bail to former Sen. Leila de Lima in the third and last case against her.
- The web of contrived evidence against De Lima in the three (3) “drug cases” are interrelated. Her prior acquittal in the two out of the three related “drug cases” should have impelled the granting of her bail because the totality of the prosecution’s evidence is patently feeble.
- In granting bail to former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile in the plunder case against him (Enrile v. Sandiganbayan, August 18, 2015), the standards used by the Supreme Court were Enrile's: (a) presumption of innocence; (b) voluntary surrender; (c) not being a flight risk; and (d) fragile health. All of these standards apply to De Lima. She enjoys the presumption of innocence, she peacefully surrendered, is definitely not a flight risk, and her failing health condition should not approximate impending death for her to be granted temporary liberty.
- The prolonged gestation for more than six years of the prosecution against De Lima while she suffers in jail is oppressive and violates her constitutional right to speedy trial, as similarly held in Reyes v. Director of Camp Bagong Diwa (January 17, 2023).
- The right to bail is rendered illusory if the grant is strictly withheld.
EDCEL C. LAGMAN