Statement of the DOJ on the Ombudsman Resolution
Dismissing the Bribery Charges against former senator Leila De Lima

11 August 2022

Prosecutor-General Benedicto Malcontento wrote a memorandum to Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla stating and describing the consistency of the DOJ resolution dated February 14, 2017 and the recent resolution of the Ombudsman dated July 22, 2022.

In the DOJ Resolution, the Panel did not consider the testimony of Kerwin Espinosa as there was no corroborating evidence to support his allegation that he delivered P8 million to former Senator Leila De Lima for future protection. Therefore, it was clear to the DOJ Panel of Prosecutors that Espinosa’s confession on the allegation of payment of protection was not convincing.

Let it be clear that these cases pertain to the bribery charges against the former senator. What is before the Muntinlupa courts are the drug trade charges which have completely different elements to be proven than that of bribery.

The Department would like to reiterate and point out that we are consistent with the recent resolution of the Ombudsman. In fact, our resolution in 2017 came way ahead.

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