'Relax na relax,' Bato says of De Lima's condition in jail


Posted at Feb 27 2017 09:46 AM | Updated as of Feb 27 2017 11:03 AM

Senator Leila De Lima waves from a police van after appearing at a Muntinlupa court on drug charges in Muntinlupa, Metro Manila. Erik de Castro, Reuters

MANILA - Senator Leila De Lima is adjusting well inside her detention cell in Camp Crame, the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday.

In a press briefing, PNP Chief, Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa said De Lima was at ease when he personally visited her jail cell during her first night there last Friday.

"Nagpaalam naman ako sa kanya... Tiningnan ko lang ang kanyang sitwasyon, kung safe ba siya doon. Ni-welcome naman niya ako," Dela Rosa said.

"'Di naman s'ya umiiyak noong nag-usap kami doon. Relax na relax siya," he added.

(I asked for her permission. I checked on her situation, if she was safe there. She welcomed me... She was not crying when we talked. She was very relaxed.)

Dela Rosa said he sought to dispel De Lima's fears about her safety.

"Sabi ko sa kanya, 'Kung security ang problema mo Ma'am, safe na safe ka dito,'" he said.

(I told her, 'If you're concerned about your security, Ma'am, I can guarantee that you're very safe here.)
He also asked De Lima, who has asthma, if she was having difficulty breathing due to the newly painted walls of her cell.

"Kayang-kaya naman daw niya, walang problema," Dele Rosa said of De Lima's reply. (She said she was fine, there was no problem.)

The PNP chief also guaranteed that the senator will not receive any special treatment, and will be treated just like the other high-profile detainees at the PNP Custodial Center, including former senators Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada.

"Kung anong treatment sa mga kapwa niya senador, ganoon din ang treatment sa kanya," he said, adding that De Lima is not entitled to even simple comforts like air conditioning and cold water.

De Lima, who was arrested on drug charges, believes she is politically persecuted by the current administration for her staunch opposition to President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs.

Her camp said Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 204 Judge Juanita Guererro committed grave abuse of discretion when she ordered her arrest despite her pending motion to dismiss the case over the RTC's lack of jurisdiction.