MANILA—The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) on Thursday both reiterated that there is no conflict between their positions on the criminal charges filed against detained Senator Leila de Lima before the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court.
“If there’s conflict in the information filed by the panel of prosecutors and the OSG’s interpretation, there should already have an amendment but we did not amend the information since there is no conflict,” Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said.
Aguirre made the statement in response to the claim of De Lima’s lawyer, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay stating that there is a discrepancy between the two offices’ positions during the oral argument on De Lima’s petition before the Supreme Court.
De Lima, currently detained at PNP custodial center in Camp Crame after she was charged before a Muntinlupa court with three counts of violation of Section 5 of the drugs law, which penalizes the “sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of illegal drugs.”
Section 5 of RA 9165 penalizes the “sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of illegal drugs while Section 26 (b) penalizes “any attempt or conspiracy to commit sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of any dangerous drugs.
For his part, Solicitor General Jose Calida echoed Aguirre’s position, saying there is no truth to Hilbay’s claim.
“It’s very clear there is no conflict between our positions. The conflict is just a figment of their imagination,” Calida said.
The next oral argument on the petition is set for March 28, where the government side represented by Calida is set to present arguments on the case.
Calida is representing Muntinlupa RTC Judge Juanita Guerrero and the Philippine National Police as respondents in this case.