By Camille A. Aguinaldo
SENATE President Vicente C. Sotto III on Thursday visited Senator Leila M. De Lima at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Mr. Sotto noted that he had made such visits in the past, in the case of Senators Gregorio B. Honasan II and Antonio F. Trillanes IV when they were in detention, as well as former senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Sr., Jose “Jinggoy” P. Estrada, and Ramon Bong R. Revilla, Jr.
“I visited Sen. De Lima so I could see how she was doing. We also talked about the bills she want to push for and how she can participate in the hearings,” the Senate leader said in a statement as issued in a phone message to reporters.
Mr. Sotto also said Ms. De Lima raised the pending bills in the Senate committee on social justice, welfare, and rural development, which she chairs.
“(She raised) concerns on hearing and reporting out of bills procedures which I promised to look into. She was not asking for any special favors. She said she was being treated fairly and is content in receiving the same treatment as other detainees,” Mr. Sotto said.
In a statement, Ms. De Lima said she was grateful to Mr. Sotto for expressing concern on how she can do her job as senator while in detention.
“In my discussions with SP Sotto, I am most pleased with how he laid down the bills and resolutions that I am pushing for in the Senate. Despite my detention for 490 days, I will continue my work in helping out the poor,” she said.
Ms. De Lima was arrested on Feb. 24, 2017 after the Duterte administration claimed she was involved in the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison while she was justice secretary.