De Lima requests medical furlough for ‘major’ surgery

Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 13 2022 09:29 PM

Senator Leila De Lima flashes her signature D5 hand sign as she arrives at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court for her case hearing, in Muntinlupa City on June 13, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News 
Senator Leila De Lima flashes her signature D5 hand sign as she arrives at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court for her case hearing, in Muntinlupa City on June 13, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News 

MANILA - Detained senator Leila De Lima will go through a "major procedure" later this month to have a part of her uterus removed as it has already become a "concern", her attorney said Monday.

De Lima’s camp has asked the two courts handling her drug-related cases to grant her a medical leave from June 19 to 25 for the surgery, Atty. Filibon Tacardon told reporters after her court hearing in Muntinlupa City.

The Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 204 granted the petition on Monday, while Branch 256 has yet to issue its decision.

According to the “extremely urgent motion” filed by De Lima’s lawyers, she was advised by doctors to undergo a vaginal hysterectomy with anterior and posterior colporrhaphy (or vaginal wall repair) “at the soonest possible time”.

“Medyo na-delay natin ito dati. Ngayon ang doktor na ang nagsabi na she has to do it now. Gustuhin man ni [senator] De Lima na ituloy ang kanyang petition for bail—2 lang ang hearing—mapipilitan siya na tumuloy na sa medical procedure dahil it is a concern na. Lumalabas na it’s already a concern for her,” Tacardon said.

De Lima would need to spend 5 days at the Manila Doctors Hospital. 

The period will cover the required COVID-19 RT-PCR tests and post-operation observation, the motion said.

Her lawyers noted that her health insurance would expire on June 30, when her term as senator ends. 

A follow-up bail hearing at Branch 256 is set on June 27, where witness Herbert Colanggo is set to continue his testimony against De Lima.

“We do not know exactly the situation of senator De Lima during that time. Ang sabi niya kanina, baka nagre-recover pa siya. So sabi namin, let’s see, ‘pag hindi kakayanin ng June 27, then we will inform the court properly about it,” Tacardon said.

Last year, De Lima went on a 3-day medical furlough at the same hospital following a suspected mild stroke.

The 62-year-old senator, who once served as Justice Secretary and chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, has been detained since February 2017 over illegal drugs cases that she claims are fabricated due to her criticisms of President Rodrigo Duterte's policies and programs.

She lost in her reelection bid last month.

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