Muntinlupa judge allows De Lima to attend online memorial service for Soliman; bars her from talking

Published September 23, 2021, 1:00 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

A Muntinlupa court on Wednesday partially granted the “very urgent motion for e-furlough” of detained Sen. Leila de Lima to attend the online memorial service for the late former Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Victoria “Dinky” Soliman who passed away last Sept. 19 at the age of 68.

Senator Leila de Lima (left) and former Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Victoria “Dinky” Soliman (Jonathan Hicap, Facebook/Dinky Soliman)

In his order, Presiding Judge Romeo Buenaventura of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 256 allowed De Lima to attend the online memorial service on “September 23, 2021 from 6:00 o’clock to 9:00 o’clock in the evening via Zoom.”

However, the court prohibited De Lima from giving her eulogy during the online memorial service.

“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. However, to the 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,” the judge said in his order.

He added, “Undoubtedly, the publicity and attention which the intended eulogy will receive may consequently affect the ongoing trial of the accused, 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 6:00 o’clock to 9:00 o’clock in the evening,’ the court stated.

The judge also ruled that “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 Jail Warden of the Custodial Service Unit, PNP Custodial Center (PNPCC) is hereby directed to ensure that this Order shall be strictly observed.”

 
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