JV Ejercito supports call to fast-track probe vs Leila de Lima: 'Justice delayed is justice denied'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 16) — Senatorial candidate JV Ejercito supports the call to fast-track the investigation into Sen. Leila de Lima's drug cases, after three witnesses recanted their testimonies against the senator five years into her detention.

"I think justice delayed is justice denied," Ejercito told CNN Philippines' The Source.

"Hopefully, the prosecution or the ones handling the case would speed it up because if it were true, we are depriving her of liberty," said Ejercito.

The senatorial bet is poised to make a comeback in the upper chamber this year, after landing on the 10th spot with 15.7 million votes, based on partial and unofficial Commission on Elections tally.

De Lima, an opposition senator who was unable to personally campaign because she was detained, emerged in the 23rd spot with 7.2 million votes.

Ronnie Dayan, De Lima's former bodyguard and co-accused in one of her two remaining drug cases, testified in court on May 13 that he never received any drug money for the former justice secretary.

RELATED: Ronnie Dayan tells court: I never received drug money for De Lima 

On April 28, Self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa retracted his allegations that he had drug dealings with De Lima, saying the police "coerced, pressured, intimidated, and seriously threatened" him to pin her down.

Two days after, former Bureau of Corrections chief Rafael Ragos also withdrew his testimonies, saying he was coerced by former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre to implicate De Lima, a claim which Aguirre denied.

The Duterte administration has repeatedly denied any hand in the incarceration of De Lima — a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte.