MANILA – Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Friday asked Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III to ensure the safety of detained Senator Leila de Lima after the latter’s security aides were pulled out.
Pimentel earlier this week revealed that the security aides being provided to De Lima by the Office of the Senate Sergeant-At-Arms have been pulled out since they were posted far from her cell at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center and were thus rendered “useless.”
Pangilinan, however, said the security aides of De Lima should not have been pulled out because the senator herself has raised concerns about her safety while in detention.
“There should have been negotiations for the Office of the Senate Sergeant-At-Arms to come closer, and not be 50 meters away,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
In her letter to her family from her detention cell, De Lima expressed concern about her safety, saying she can never trust Duterte because he is a “murderer and he is capable of having me killed.”
De Lima is currently detained on drug charges, but she and her allies say her incarceration is a clear form of political persecution. The senator has been the most vocal critic of Duterte’s war on drugs, which has claimed the lives of over 7,000 people.
The senator has said that the cases against her have no basis and the arrest warrant issued against her was released with haste.