CJSearch PROFILE: Leila M. de Lima

Posted at 07/19/12 12:16 PM

Leila de Lima, 52, is the current secretary of the Department of Justice.

She was chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights from 2008 to 2010 before joining the Aquino administration in 2010.


For a long time (1998 to 2008), she was a partner of the De Lima Law Firm, and she became known as an election lawyer. Her father is former COMELEC Commissionier Vicente de Lima.

De Lima was a junior partner of the Roco, Buñag, Kapunan and Migallos law firm from 1995 to 1998.

She took up her undergraduate degree at De La Salle University where she majored in history and political science.

She graduated from San Beda College of Law in 1985 and was the class salutatorian. She placed 8th in the 1985 Bar exams.

De Lima is separated from her husband. She has two sons.

She got six nominations for Chief Justice and has 3 opposition letters to her nomination. Among the reasons cited in these letters are that she, being the alter ego of the President, cannot be impartial and independent, and that she did not follow the Supreme Court's TRO allowing Mrs. Arroyo to leave the country in 2010.

She also has a pending disbarment case involving statements she made against then-Chief Justice Renato Corona. The Supreme Court referred the case to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines last April.

De Lima also has 3 pending graft cases before the Office of the Ombudsman, one of which is plunder, which also have to be dismissed before the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) takes a vote on the Chief Justice shortlist.