MANILA — Detained Sen. Leila de Lima was released from the Manila Doctors Hospital on Sunday after undergoing a major surgery.
De Lima was escorted at around 12:40 p.m. from the hospital back to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City. She was seen walking to a coaster van with police officers.
Last week, the outgoing senator was granted a medical furlough by the 2 courts handling her drug-related cases, as she had been diagnosed with Pelvic Organ Prolapse Stage 3.
Her doctors had advised her to be operated on "at the soonest possible time," based on an "extremely urgent motion" filed by her lawyers.
In the motion, De Lima's lawyers stated that she had to go through a "vaginal hysterectomy with anterior and posterior colporrhaphy or vaginal wall repair."
De Lima, 62, had been given a furlough from June 19 to 23 by Judge Romeo Buenaventura of Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 256, while Branch 204's Judge Abraham Joseph Alcantara gave her a furlough from June 19 to 25.
She had been given clearance to extend her hospital stay until June 28, but the senator opted to be discharged on Sunday.
"I thank the Courts for their compassion and swift action in allowing me to address my urgent medical needs – from granting my motion for medical furlough for routine checkup last April and my recent motion that would allow me to undergo a major surgery,” De Lima said.
The senator has been detained since February 2017 for allegations that she had been involved in the illegal drugs trade. She denies the charges, and says she is being politically persecuted for being critical of the Duterte government.
Earlier this year, some key witnesses in De Lima's cases—including self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa—recanted their testimonies against her, saying that the claims they made against her were not true.
De Lima sought reelection in the May 9 polls but lost.
—with report from Jeffrey Hernaez, ABS-CBN News