Pangilinan urges court to allow de Lima to visit ailing mother

Published August 10, 2019, 9:36 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Mario Casayuran

Opposition Senator Francis N. Pangilinan has expressed strong support for a colleague in the Senate minority bloc, Senator Leila de Lima, that she be given a chance to be beside her ailing mother in Camarines Sur.

Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan (Photo from Kiko Pangilinan website / / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan (Photo from Kiko Pangilinan website / / MANILA BULLETIN)

From her detention cell at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Quezon city, De Lima had filed before the Muntinglupa regional trial court (RTC) a very urgent motion for furlough to allow her to visit her mother in a hospital in Camarines Sur.

De Lima has been in detention the past two years on alleged illegal drugs-related charges.

“We urge the court to show compassion and grant this on the basis of humanitarian considerations,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan hoped the RTC look with the compassion the appeal of De Lima to see her bed-ridden mother she has not seen the past two years.

De Lima requested the RTC to grant her a furlough “as soon as possible so that could see her mother, possibly for the last time.”

De Lima’s mother, Norma, was brought to the Villanueva Tanchuling General Hospital on August 4. Doctors have “deemed her condition as critical and is said to be expected to quickly deteriorate.”

Pangilinan pointed out instances when the courts have granted furloughs so that detainees may visit their relatives. In 2007, former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada, who was then detained for plunder, was allowed to visit his mother, Mary Ejercito. Murder defendant and former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor Zaldy Ampatuan was even allowed to attend his daughter’s wedding in August 2018.