By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday said she hoped detained Senator Leila De Lima would soon be cleared of the charges over her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison.
“Sana finally madesisyunan na iyong kaso. Kasi alam naman natin na baseless,” said Robredo, who chairs the opposition Liberal Party, of which De Lima is a member.
(I hope finally her case will be decided. Because we know it’s baseless.)
Robredo lamented De Lima’s continued detention has not only “deprived her to perform her functions” in the Senate, but also the Filipino people since she is an elected senator.
De Lima has been detained since February 2017 in Camp Crame, Quezon City on allegations that she allowed the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the national penitentiary when she was still the justice secretary.
This was supposedly in exchange for her senatorial campaign in 2016..
The Vice President renewed her call for the release of De Lima, a known top critic of President Duterte in his bloody drug war.
“More than two years na na hindi siya pinapayagang gawin iyong kaniyang trabaho to the fullest. While nakaka-participate naman siya sa paghain ng rmga panukalang batas, iba pa rin kung nandoon siya na nakaka-participate sa debate, nakakapagboto. Sana, soonest possible time matapos na ito,” said Robredo.
(More than two years she has not been allowed to do her job to the fullest. While she was participating in the filing of proposed measures, it’s still different if she is present to participate in the debate and voting. I hope this will be over in the soonest possible time.)
The Vice President was asked about the two-day furlough granted by the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court to De Lima to visit her ailing mother at a hospital in Iriga City.
“Masaya tayo—ngayong umaga, nakita ko iyong pictures na nandoon na siya—masaya tayo na after so long, nabisita na niya,” Robredo said of De Lima, who is a fellow Bicolano.
(I’m happy—this morning, I saw the pictures she is already there—I’m happy after so long she was able to visit her.)
Robredo said she was praying for De Lima and her mother’s health.
“Nakikiisa tayo kay Senator Leila… Alam natin kung gaano kahirap ang pinagdadaanan (We are with Senator Leila. We know the difficult times she’s going through.),” she said.