Minority bloc urges Senate to allow De Lima join plenary deliberations


Posted at Sep 24 2017 07:34 PM

Senator Leila de Lima. File Photo

MANILA -- Senators belonging to the minority bloc is urging the Senate to let detained Senator Leila de Lima to participate in plenary deliberations, pending the resolution of the charges pressed against her.

In resolution 505, the senators said De Lima should not be considered a "flight risk" as she voluntarily surrendered when authorities served an arrest warrant against her. 

Among the senators who signed the resolution are Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon, and Senators Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan, and Antonio Trillanes IV.

The senators said De Lima continued to work and file bills even in detention at the Philippine National Police-Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

The minority lawmakers even said the Senate can take custody of De Lima and guarantee of her presence when required by the court or the proper authorities. 

They cited cases in the past when senators Justiniano Montano and Juan Ponce Enrile were allowed to post bail and perform their senatorial duties despite criminal cases against them.

"By allowing Senator De Lima to continue performing her duties as a senator of the Republic of the Philippines, we are heeding to the call of the overwhelming mandate of the electorate who wants Senator De Lima to represent them," they said.

De Lima has been detained since February 24, 2017 after the Muntinlupa RTC Branch 204 issued an arrest order against her on drug charges. 

The senator, among the administration's fiercest critics, has decried the allegations as mere lies and political persecution.