By Vann Marlo M. Villegas, Reporter

DETAINED Opposition Senator Leila M. De Lima has asked the Muntinlupa regional trial court, where her drug-related cases are being heard, to allow her to vote in the May 13 national and local elections.

In her urgent motion for furlough, Ms. De Lima asked the court to allow her to vote through the “escorted voting system.”

“In the exercise of her constitutional right of suffrage, movant requests that she be allowed to avail of the escorted detainee voting mechanism as provided in COMELEC (Commission on Elections) resolutions, rules, and regulations, especially since no special offsite registration for detainees was conducted in the Philippine National Police Custodial Center during the period of continuing registration of voters from July 2, 2018 to September 29, 2018 that could have allowed her to apply for the transfer of her voter’s registration records to the Custodial Center,” Ms. De Lima’s motion read.

The senator, a Parañaque City-registered voter, said she asked the Comelec in January to establish a special polling place for Persons Deprived of Liberty in the PNP Custodial Center where she is detained for more than two years now.

However, the Comelec denied her request as the Omnibus Election Code forbids the establishment of polling centers “within the perimeter of or inside a military or police camp or reservation.”

The Comelec, on the other hand, recommended the “escorted voting system” to Ms. De Lima.

Ms. De Lima has been detained for more than two years since February 2017 for allegedly conspiring to commit illegal drug trading inside the Bilibid when she was still secretary of justice, a charge her supporters say is fabricated.