Court allows De Lima of 48-hour furlough


A Regional Trial Court (RTC) in the Philippines has granted Senator Leila de Lima, a known critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, to be temporarily released to visit her ailing mother.

In two separate orders, the Muntinlupa RTC Branches 205 and 256 granted De Lima of a 48-hour furlough beginning August 14 to 15, including travel time, to visit her 86-year old mother, Norma Magistrado De Lima at her residence in Iriga City, possibly for the last time.

De Lima said that her mother was in critical condition at the Villanueva Tanchuling General Hospital in Iriga and that doctors warned that her mother’s condition could further deteriorate.

“Accused De Lima appeals to the utmost kind consideration of the Honorable Court, as a daughter who wants to be able to see and, perhaps, hold her mother close for the last time,” De Lima’s urgent motion read.

“As a daughter, she owes everything to the woman who gave her life and, in her present predicament, the only way she could show her deepest love and appreciation for her mother’s love and care over the last 60 years is to be with her in her last moments on earth,” she added.

Since her detention in February 2017, De Lima said she has only seen her mother twice, the first being on December 23, 2018 when her mother was brought to her detention, and the second was on June 16 when De Lima availed of another furlough to attend the thanksgiving dinner for her son, Vincent Joshua de Lima Bohol, for passing the Bar Exam.

The lawmaker said she will bear all expenses which may be incurred by the proposed furlough and provide the courts with the necessary documentation from the hospital and the doctors as it becomes available

De Lima has to be back at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center by August 16.

“PNP Chief Director Oscar Albayalde or his representative, in coordination with the Sheriff of this Court shall provide adequate personal escorts and security measures in all movements and disposition of accused De Lima,” the court order read.

De Lima is facing drug-trafficking charges after she was accused of receiving money from drug dealers inside the New Bilibid Prison while she was still secretary of the Department of Justice from 2010 to 2015.

On Tuesday, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said that Duterte expressed no objection if the courts will allow her of a temporary release.

Leila De Lima. Photo credit: SENATE.GOV.PH