By Rey Panaligan
Two branches of the Muntinlupa City regional trial court (RTC) allowed on Wednesday detained Sen. Leila de Lima to visit her ailing 86-year-old mother in Iriga City for 48 hours.
RTC Branches 205 and 256, where De Lima’s three illegal drugs cases are pending, granted the senator’s plea.
The trial court orders stated that De Lima’s 48-hour furlough includes travel time to the hospital where her mother is confined or to their residence in Iriga City from August 14 to August 15.
De Lima has to be back in her detention cell at the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) custodial center in Quezon City on August 16, the trial courts’ orders stated.
The orders also stated that all expenses related to the furlough must be shouldered by De Lima.
“PNP Director Oscar Albayalde or his representative, in coordination with the sheriffs of these courts, shall provide adequate personal escorts and security measures in all movements and disposition of accused De Lima,” the trial courts said.
Earlier, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said he had instructed prosecutors not to oppose De Lima’s plea to visit her ailing mother, Norma Magistrado de Lima.
In her motion, De Lima told the trial courts that she was informed last August 8 that her mother was again hospitalized last August 4 and was in critical condition.
“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. 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 said in her motion.
She also said her mother has been diagnosed with dementia and the family deemed that the long journey from Iriga City to Quezon City would make her mother’s visit not feasible.
She pointed out that since her arrest on February 24, 2017, she saw her mother only twice — first on Dec. 23, 2018 during a visit to Camp Crame, and last June 16 during the thanksgiving dinner of her son, Vincent Joshua de Lima Bohol, who passed the bar examinations.