Hospital arrest for De Lima? It's up to the court, says Palace

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2018 03:37 PM | Updated as of Nov 20 2018 04:36 PM

Sen. Leila de Lima is flanked by police escorts while at the Philippine Heart Center Monday for a checkup. Detained on drug charges, De Lima was granted a day-long furlough to undergo medical examination after a "liver mass" was found during a test in February. Photo courtesy of De Lima's office

MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday said it would neither oppose nor support a plea for detained Sen. Leila de Lima to be placed under hospital arrest in case her camp so requests. 

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said only the court could decide whether or not to grant such a request.

“We cannot support, we cannot oppose, it’s the court that determines but we wish her well because this is now a health issue,” Roque said in a news conference.

“I don’t think the President ills anyone, wishes anyone ill as far as health issues are concerned. As I said, we want her to enjoy a long life wherever but we want her to have a long life.”

The question on the possibility of a hospital arrest for De Lima was raised after the neophyte lawmaker went on a one-day medical furlough so she could undergo a CT scan of the liver at the Philippine Heart Center.

De Lima said she went through a routine and periodic medical examination last February at the Philippine National Police General Hospital, where an impression of a "liver mass" was found.

"My physician ordered that I have to immediately undergo further examination, particularly 'CT Scan (tri-phase) of the liver' due to a finding of an impression of a 'liver mass.' As prescribed by my doctor, the said test is necessary to determine if the 'liver mass' is benign or malignant," she said.

De Lima also said there is nothing to worry about her health.

"There is nothing to worry about. This is just part of a routine medical checkup to determine if I should go through an operation to avoid any complications," she said.

De Lima said she would release results of her medical tests to the public as soon as they are available.

"At bilang bahagi ng pananagutan ko bilang lingkod-bayan, agad ko pong ipagbibigay alam sa publiko ang resulta ng nasabing medical examination ukol sa estado ng aking kalusugan," said the lawmaker. 

De Lima, a critic of President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, has been detained since February 2017 on allegations that she benefited from the sale of illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison during her stint as justice secretary under the previous administration. 

She has denied the allegations saying they are part of efforts to silence her.