MANILA, Oct 12 (Mabuhay) — Malacañang on Tuesday said it is up to former Senator Leila de Lima’s lawyers to file a motion for home furlough after she was briefly taken hostage in the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center on Sunday.
“Ang mga kaso po ni de Lima ay nasa korte na so hayaan nalang po natin ang mga abogado niya to (de Lima’s case is in the courts so let us allow her lawyers to) make the proper motion. The President cannot and will not intervene in any case that’s already with the courts,” OPS officer-in-charge Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil said in a Palace press briefing.
Amid mounting calls for the dropping of charges against de Lima, Garafil also maintained that it will be up to the courts to decide.
“As I said we leave it up to the courts to decide if she’s going to be freed based on the evidence or merits of her case,” she added.
De Lima’s legal counsel Filibon Tacardon earlier said they are considering applying for a home furlough over fears for her safety.
Senator Imee Marcos urged de Lima to take the extended home furlough offered by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Justice since July.
Tacardon, however, said he had no knowledge of a home furlough offer.
De Lima was held hostage by inmate Feliciano Sulayao Jr. while attempting to escape from the PNP Custodial Center. Sulayao was detained on the charge of being a sub-leader of the local terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group.
The former lawmaker described the hostage-taking incident as a “near-death experience.”
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. earlier offered to have de Lima transferred to another detention center.
However, de Lima said she opted to stay at the PNP Custodial Center.
De Lima has been detained at the PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame in Quezon City since February 2017.
She is facing drug-related charges for her alleged role in drug proliferation inside the national penitentiary when she was justice secretary during the term of the late President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
De Lima was acquitted in one of her three drug cases in February last year, while two others are pending before the courts. (MNS)