MANILA - Sen. Leila de Lima had a joyful reunion Thursday with her 86-year-old mother who suffers from dementia in Iriga City, Camarines Sur.
De Lima, who is on a 48-hour furlough, immediately embraced her mother Norma Magistrado when she arrived at their family's ancestral home, according to the senator's brother Vic de Lima.
"Hinug kaagad ng kapatid ko. And then tinanong ni Leila 'yung mother namin ‘Si’isay ako' or in Tagalog ‘Sino ako?’ ‘Nung una hindi kaagad nakasagot 'yung mother namin dahil mahina na ang pandinig so medyo nilakasan ng boses ni Leila," he said.
(She immediately hugged our mother. And then Leila asked our mother "who am I?" Our mother did not answer right away because of her poor hearing and Leila had to speak up.)
"‘Si isay ako?' At sumagot 'yung nanay namin: 'Si Leila ikaw, si Leila ikaw!' Tuwang-tuwa. Nag-hug ulit sila. It is a beautiful reunion, nag-hug lahat."
("Who am I?" Our mother answered: 'You're Leila, you're Leila.' She was overjoyed. They hugged again. It was a beautiful reunion, everyone hugged.)
De Lima's family welcomed her furlough, saying this was the first time in a long while that all 4 siblings were present.
"Dumating po siya marami po kaming kamag-anak na hinug siya. Meron pong mga umiiyak," Vic said.
(When she arrived many of our relatives hugged her. Some were in tears.)
"Ang sabi ni Leila sa kanila, sa aming mga kapatid, ayaw niyang makitang umiiyak kami. This is not a sad day. This is a good day for her. Makikita niya ang nanay namin."
(Leila told them, us siblings, that she doesn't want to see us crying as this is not a sad day. This is a good day for her. She will see our mother.)
The senator's mother was confined to the hospital over the weekend but was released Wednesday.
A small gathering was prepared for the senator's short visit.
De Lima has been detained for over 2 years over drug-related charges, which she denied and said were politically motivated.
--With reports from Mylce Mella, ABS-CBN News