MALACAÑANG on Monday, August 12, distanced itself from the appeal of detained Senator Leila de Lima for a furlough to visit her ailing 86-year-old mother in Iriga City, Camarines Sur.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace would let Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) decide on the request of De Lima, one of the fiercest critics of President Rodrigo Duterte.
"Well, ever since, the President does not interfere with any case involving anybody. Never nangialam. So the discretion lies [with] the court," the Palace official said in an interview with Palace reporters.
"We will never interfere with whatever cases there are pending in the courts," he added.
De Lima has been detained at Camp Crame in Quezon City since February 24, 2017 for her supposed involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs in the national penitentiary during her stint as Secretary of Justice.
The senator filed before the Muntinlupa City RTC a very urgent notion for furlough to allow her to visit her mother, Norma de Lima, in Iriga City on August 15 or as soon as possible.
De Lima has seen her mother only twice since she has been detained, first on December 23, 2018 during a surprise visit at her detention cell, and last June 16 during the thanksgiving dinner for her son.
De Lima's morther was brought to the Villanueva Tanchuling General Hospiral in Iriga City on August 4 for "body malaise, altered level of consciousness, hyponatremia."
The attending doctor said De Lima's mother is in critical condition and is "expected to further quickly deteriorate." (SunStar Philippines)