MANILA - Detained Senator Leila de Lima needs the support of her family and friends now more than ever, according to the wife of former senator Bong Revilla.
"At this point in time, at her lowest moment, kailangan talaga is family support and friends around her. Yun ang kailangan," said Bacoor Mayor Lani Mercado.
Mercado said she feels for the lady senator who is alone in her section at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame.
"I'm really praying for her kasi she's alone in her section. At least si Sen. Bong [Revilla] at Sen. Jinggoy [Estrada] magkasama. She's alone," she said.
"I don't know if she has family. I don't know if she has children. I know her partner is not with her," she said.
Speaking from experience, Mercado explained how she and her entire family are behind the former senator.
"Sa side naming pamilya, nandoon ang buong family support, very strong. Ako, nandito bilang asawa. Nandyan ang mga anak namin, mga apo namin, pati mga kapatid," she said.
De Lima, one of President Rodrigo Duterte's staunchest critics, was placed under arrest last week after charges were filed in court alleging she received money from drug dealers inside the country's prisons.
De Lima, a human rights lawyer before joining government, said the charges are a vendetta against her after she last year led a Senate probe into alleged extrajudicial killings during Duterte's anti-drugs crackdown.
De Lima's family earlier told ABS-CBN News the senator does not feel safe in her detention area even though police personnel assigned to watch her have been polite and professional.
"She is very much aware of the criminal capabilities of the leader of the current administration. That the testimonies of [hitmen Edgar] Matobato and [Arturo] Lascanas point the disturbing truth that a mass murderer was elected president of our beloved country," her camp said.
The De Lima camp added that if she were corrupt, she would have been able to buy her own house. They said the house she was staying in before her detention was rented.
She also does not have the money to pay for high-priced lawyers to stand in her defense, her camp said.
In the interview, Mercado said De Lima's incarceration might lead to an opportunity to forge friendships.
“Sabi ko nung speech ko nung Monday, nothing is impossible with God. Malay mo, bakit siya doon dinala, it might be an opportunity na magkaroon ng friendship ang mga tao. Hindi imposible iyon,” she said.
Revilla, Estrada and Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, were also jailed on plunder charges while De Lima was justice secretary. The Supreme Court has granted Enrile's plea to post bail after the senator said he is weak and does not pose a flight risk. With reports by Mario Dumaual and Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN News