Court denies De Lima's petition to junk disobedience to summons case

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Ronnie Dayan (L), Sen. Leila de Lima (R)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 3) — A local court has denied detained Senator Leila De Lima's appeal to dismiss her disobedience to summons case.

The Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 34 issued a resolution dated May 31, 2017, denying De Lima's motion for reconsideration "for lack of merit."

CNN Philippines obtained on Saturday a copy of the court's decision, which was signed by Judge Ma. Ludmila De Pio Lim.

It said the hearing of De Lima's case will proceed as scheduled on June 9.

The court also summoned House Committee on Justice Chairman Reynaldo Umali as the prosecution's first witness.

It was Umali and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez who filed a complaint against De Lima, accusing her of violating Article 150 of the Revised Penal Code.

This was after she allegedly advised her former driver-bodyguard, Ronnie Dayan, not to attend the Lower House probe into the alleged drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison.

In her counter-affidavit and subsequent petition to the court, De Lima questioned the court's jurisdiction, arguing that the Sandiganbayan should hear her case instead.

De Lima's lawyers also argued that her advice to Dayan via text message did not qualify as an act of inducing disobedience to summons.

Related: Dayan: De Lima urged me to skip probe, hide

In its latest ruling, the court said De Lima's motion was a mere reiteration of a counter-affidavit she filed in January.

The court also said a re-examination of its earlier resolution is an "exercise of futility" - especially with respect to the issue of jurisdiction.

De Lima has been detained without bail at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame since she was arrested in February 24.

She is accused of abetting the illegal drug trade at the Bilibid while she was Justice Secretary from 2010 to 2015.