MANILA, Philippines — The Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 206 has ordered the arrest of former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) director Franklin Bucayu along with three co-accused of Sen. Leila de Lima in connection with the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Judge Patria Manalastas de Leon found probable cause in issuing a warrant for the arrest of Bucayu, De Lima’s alleged bagmen Wilfredo Elli and Jose Adrian Dera, and De Lima’s former bodyguard Joenel Sanchez.
“After a thorough examination of the records and he preliminary investigation, the court finds probable cause for the issuance of warrant of arrest against all the accused, without bail,” De Leon wrote in the order.
In February, the Department of Justice filed three separate cases against De Lima before the Muntinlupa court over her alleged participation in the proliferation of illegal drugs at the NBP when she was justice secretary.
De Lima was charged with violating Section 5 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 for allegedly allowing the trading of illegal drugs at the NBP in relation to Sections 3, 26 and 28 of the anti-narcotics law.
The National Bureau of Investigation and the Volunteers against Crime and Corruption recommended the filing of charges against De Lima based on testimonies during the House of Representatives’ inquiry into the alleged illegal drug trade in the NBP.
De Lima’s drug-related case was raffled off to Muntinlupa RTC Branches 204, 205 and 206.
At Branch 206, De Lima and Bucayu were charged with drug-related cases for allegedly tolerating the widespread drug trade inside the maximum security compound along with Elli, Sanchez, Dera and NBP inmate Jaybee Sebastian.
The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police is yet to receive a copy of the arrest warrant for Bucayu and the other accused.
The CIDG will implement the warrant of arrest once it is officially transmitted by the Muntinlupa court.
The Muntinlupa court also set the arraignment for De Lima and former bodyguard Ronnie Dayan on Dec. 8, while high profile inmate Sebastian will be arraigned on Dec. 12.
By Robertzon Ramirez and Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) November 29, 2017
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