CA turns down De Lima's bid to stop drug probe

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(File photo) Senator Leila De Lima

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — A Court of Appeals (CA) special division has denied Senator Leila De Lima's petition to stop the Department of Justice's (DOJ) investigation on the drug trafficking cases against her.

The CA Special Sixth Division resolution, penned by CA Associate Justice Nina Antonio Valenzuela, stated De Lima failed to show proof that the probe will cause her "irreparable injury."

The CA ordered the DOJ to comment on the petition. De Lima has to respond within 10 days.

She also argued the Ombudsman, not the DOJ, has the sole jurisdiction to conduct preliminary investigations against former or incumbent government officials.

Consolidated cases of drug trafficking were filed against De Lima by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala, and convicted drug lord Jaybee Sebastian.

The cases stemmed from allegations that De Lima, then Justice Secretary, abetted the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison and received huge payouts from convicted drug lords to fund her senatorial bid.

De Lima said she has prepared for the worst-case scenario in her possible arrest.

DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on February 10 said the resolution on De Lima's cases will be out soon.