Philippines: Court Acquits Leila De Lima in Drug Case

    Photo: AFP [via Al Jazeera]

    The Facts

    • A Philippine court on Friday dismissed one of the two remaining criminal charges against former Sen. Leila de Lima, a prominent critic of ex-President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

    • De Lima and co-accused Ronnie Dayan were acquitted of conspiring to commit illegal drug trading at the New Bilibid Prison in 2012 during her time as justice secretary "on the ground of reasonable doubt."

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    The unjust imprisonment and continued detention of Leila de Lima has been undermining the credibility of the Philippine judicial system, as she should have long been acquitted of all charges given that the prosecution has based them solely on the testimonies of criminals. It is outrageous that the country's judiciary is still analyzing bogus cases brought by the former Duterte regime against its opponents.

    Narrative B

    As ironical as it may seem, Leila de Lima — detained on non-bailable charges of involvement in illicit drug trading — once argued that former Pres. Gloria Arroyo's continued detention was part of the independent judicial process in the Philippines and did not violate her human rights. Now that she is behind bars, her supporters at home and abroad are insulting the judiciary.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that at least 60 countries will, at least in some form, decriminalize possession of all Schedule I drugs for personal use by 2070, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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