Court issues gag order to allow De Lima to attend Dinky's online memorial service

Published September 23, 2021, 1:05 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

The Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court has granted Senator Leila de Lima’s plea to attend the online memorial service for former Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman.

However, Muntinlupa RTC Branch 256 presiding judge Romeo Buenaventura prohibited De Lima from giving any eulogy, comment, or be interviewed by the media during the online memorial service which would be held later today, Thursday, September 23, at 6 p.m.

“The Court commiserates with the accused for having lost someone whom she considers a close friend and trusted colleague, thus, her fervent desire to speak in honor of the deceased,” the court judge said.

“However, to mind of the Court, there is a great likelihood that whatever the accused may say during the online memorial service will pique the interest of the media and the public in general given her public stature,” he said.

The judge said the publicity and attention the media might give to De Lima’s speech might affect her ongoing trial and “may even result to a miscarriage of justice in this case.”

“In view, thereof, for humanitarian reasons and considering the urgency of the matter, the instant motion is hereby partially granted,”

“Accused De Lima is hereby allowed to attend via Zoom, the online memorial service for the late former Secretary of social welfare and development, Corazon Victoria ‘Dinky’ Nerves Juliano-Soliman, on September 23, 2021 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the evening,”

“Accused De Lima is not allowed to give a eulogy, comment, media interview or any other form of online communication at any time during the furlough,” the court order stated.

De Lima is currently detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame over her alleged involvement in the drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP).

The lawmaker, a vocal critic of the present administration, has since vehemently denied her involvement in illegal drugs and the accusations hurled against her by the camp of President Duterte.

She insists that the allegations against her were merely fabricated being a staunch critic of the Duterte administration.