Visitors outside of family need to get 'Bato's' approval
MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday said Senator Leila de Lima might occupy the detention cell where former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile was once incarcerated.
PNP spokesperson Sr. Supt. Dionardo Carlos said in a news conference that the former detention rooms of Enrile or of Communist-rebel-couple Benito and Wilma Tiamzon are among the cells where De Lima might be placed.
“I asked from the [PNP] HSS [Headquarters Support Service], they are preparing two possible spaces, one used by Senator Enrile and one used by the Tiamzon couple,” Carlos said.
A Muntinlupa court on Thursday issued a warrant of arrest for De Lima, her former driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan, and former Bureau of Corrections officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos for drug trading.
De Lima evaded arrest at her home on Thursday evening, but presented herself to the arresting team on Friday morning.
The senator underwent the booking process and had a meal, Carlos said.
“Very cooperative po si Senator Leila de Lima during the booking process, kaya naging mabilis po,” Carlos said.
Asked whether De Lima, a sitting senator, will still be able to discharge some of her functions as a lawmaker, Carlos noted that the PNP Custodial Center is no stranger to holding sitting lawmakers.
Former Senators Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon Revilla Jr. were all sitting lawmakers when they were ordered arrested in connection with their respective pork barrel scam cases.
Enrile has since been granted bail, while Revilla and Estrada are still detained at the custodial center while undergoing trial.
Carlos said, De Lima will have 24/7 access to her lawyers, and there will be a designated time for visits of her immediate family.
He said, visitors other than De Lima’s relatives will need to get the permission of PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa.
De Lima said her arrest over drug allegations was President Rodrigo Duterte's way of silencing critics of his bloody campaign against illegal drugs that has led to 7,000 people getting killed nationwide.
"Clearly, this administration has evil and dangerous plans: to make an example of me to intimidate, silence, and destroy anyone who dares challenge them; to draw public attention away from the government’s abuses and failures; and, to cover up their most murderous war on drugs," De Lima said in a video message recorded at the Senate prior to her arrest.
De Lima said Duterte has had a "fixation for revenge" against her after she called for an investigation into the alleged Davao Death Squad (DDS) during her tenure as Commission on Human Rights chair.