A MAKATI court has allowed former Army Scout Ranger regiment commander Brigadier General Danilo “Danny” Lim to leave his detention cell at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame to grace an event in his hometown in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya.

But Lim will still have to celebrate Valentine's Day inside his cell as the ruling is effective from 8 a.m. of February 11 until the eve of February 13.

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Judge Elmo Alameda of the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 granted Lim’s request, but the senatorial aspirant will have to celebrate Valentine’s Day inside his cell as the ruling is effective from 8 a.m. of February 11 until the eve of February 13.

Lim is running for senator in the coming May elections under the Liberal Party (LP) of Senator Noynoy Aquino. He is also a guest candidate of former President Joseph Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).

In his order, Alameda directed the PNP to provide the necessary security arrangement for Lim during his trip.

Isabel Enriquez, Lim’s spokesperson, said the senatoriable left for Nueva Vizcaya early morning Thursday accompanied by his security escorts, relatives, and supporters.

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, campaign manager of the LP senatorial slate, thanked the Makati court for allowing Lim to attend the 75th founding anniversary of his alma mater, St. Louis School.

“The three-day pass will give him the opportunity to meet his leaders and supporters in order to prepare for the campaign," he said.

Pangilinan said the LP views the release as a sign that the court does not consider Lim as a danger to society.

“He is, after all, presumed innocent until proven otherwise. We hope to make the necessary representations with the RTC court to allow General Lim at some future date during the campaign to attend our major campaign activities, so that he may bring his platform of governance and anti-corruption, and reforms to the voters.”

Lim through his legal counsel, Vicente Verdadero, earlier asked the court to allow him to attend the 75th foundation of St. Louis School, in Solano town where he graduated salutatorian.

Lim was a consistent topnotcher in school and got a high score in the entrance exam of the US Military Academy at West Point. He graduated with top honors in the Scout Ranger Course and eventually became the regiment commander of the First Scout Ranger Regiment.

He stands accused of mutiny before a military court in connection with the February 2006 coup and rebellion for his participation in the November 2007 standoff at the Peninsula Manila hotel along with detained Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

His co-accused in the mutiny charges - resigned Marine Colonel Ariel Querubin - is also seeking a senatorial seat under the Nacionalista Party (NP).

Lim and Querubin founded the Young Officers' Union (YOU), a group of junior military officers who supported the bloodiest coup attempt by the Rebolusyonaryong Alyansang Makabayan (RAM) of then Army colonel turned senator Gregorio Honasan II in December 1989.

The two were reinstated following the peace pact the government entered into with the RAM-SFP-YOU in 1995. (AH/With Angela Casauay/Sunnex)