By Benjamin Pulta

BAIL ALLOWED. Female police personnel secure former senator Leila de Lima as she waves to her supporters at the Muntinlupa City Hall of Justice on Monday (Nov. 13, 2023). The Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 206 allowed the former lawmaker and her four co-accused to post bail on her remaining drug case. (PNA photo by Ben Pulta)

MANILA – The Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 206 on Monday granted former senator Leila de Lima and her four co-accused temporary freedom.

In a 69-page resolution, Judge Gener Gito granted the motion for reconsideration filed by de Lima and her co-accused, former Bureau of Corrections chief Franklin Bucayu, police asset Jose Adrian Dera, and the ex-senator’s former driver and bodyguard Ronnie Dayan and former security aide Jonnel Sanchez.

They were allowed to post bail worth PHP300,000, reversing a June 7 ruling that denied them bail.

“(A)ssessing the totality of the evidence presented by the prosecution, the Court is of the firm view and so holds that the accused should be allowed to post bail as the prosecution was not able to discharge its burden of establishing that the guilt of the said accused is strong,” the court said.

De Lima was arrested in February 2017 for illegal drug charges, including an alleged agreement between the accused and New Bilibid Prison inmates to sell and trade illegal drugs to fund her 2016 senatorial bid.

Only one of three cases remain.

“As a matter of procedure, she will undergo physical and medical examinations to check if she is okay,” Philippine National Police spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said.

De Lima would then be turned over to her family or her lawyers.

“Medical examination is just a protocol so that at least before she is received by her family or lawyers, they would know that she is in good physical condition,” Fajardo said. (with Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)