Muntinlupa court directs transfer of 11 PDL witnesses in De Lima case to NBP

11 PDL witnesses of Leila de Lima to be transferred for safety

A Muntinlupa court has ordered the transfer of 11 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs), who are witnesses in the last remaining case of former senator Leila de Lima, from the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) for their safety and security.

In an order dated Dec. 13, Presiding Judge Gener Gito of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 206 granted the motions of De Lima and government prosecutors to transfer the PDL witnesses to NBP in Muntinlupa.

The 11 PDLs who will be transferred are German Agojo, Tomas. Donina, Jaime Patcho, Wu Tuan Yuan (alias Peter Co), Engelberto Durano, Jerry Pepino, Hans Anton Tan, Herbert Colangco, Noel Martinez, Nonilo Arile, and Joel D. Capones. Of the 11, nine of them have already written letters expressing their intent to recant their testimonies against De Lima. Only Colangco and Martinez have not signified their intention to recant their statements against the former senator.

De Lima, who is out on bail, only has one pending drug case in Muntinlupa court. Two of the three cases filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2017 under the Duterte administration have been dismissed by Muntinlupa courts in 2021 and this year.

Under case 17-167, De Lima and others are accused of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading.

In a letter dated Nov. 17, Agojo, Doniña, Patcho, Wu, Durano, Pepino and Tan wrote a letter to Gito, telling him that they “would like to recant our previous testimonies against the latter, in the interest of truth and justice.”

The PDLs asked Gito that they be “given the opportunity to set the record straight and correct our mistakes by stating the unadulterated truth this time.”

In October, Magleo and Arile wrote a letter to De Lima and former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) director Franklin Jesus Bucayu to say that they will recant their testimonies “for several reasons with the primordial objective–to help you both to be set free together with your fellow co-accused in the last case at the sala of Hon. Judge Gito of Muntinlupa City RTC Br. 206.”

Leave a Reply