MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte sees no problem with Sen. Leila de Lima's request for furlough to visit her ailing mother, his former long-time aide Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said Tuesday.
"President Rodrigo Duterte said he will have no objection if the courts allow Sen. Leila de Lima to see her mother,” Go’s office said in a statement.
De Lima’s lawyer Raymond Baguilat earlier said the senator’s mother, Norma Magistrado de Lima, is “critically ill” at a hospital in Iriga City, Camarines Sur and doctors said she might pass away soon.
Baguilat filed the furlough request last Friday before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 205, where De Lima is facing drug-related charges.
De Lima believes she was detained on trumped up charges because of her fierce opposition to Duterte and his policies.
In a dispatch from detention room in Camp Crame last Friday, De Lima appealed for prayers as her mother’s health worsens.
“My 86-year-old mom’s health is now failing her. She’s confined in a hospital in Iriga for several days already. Our family is now advised to prepare for the inevitable. I ask for prayers. Maraming salamat po,” De Lima said in her letter.
Muntinlupa Branch 205’s Judge Liezel Aquiatan had granted De Lima’s previous furlough requests.
The court had allowed De Lima to vote last May and attend the thanksgiving dinner of her son, Vincent Joshua de Lima Bohol, who had just passed the Bar last June. The same branch, however, had rejected De Lima’s request to attend her son’s graduation from law school in 2018.
Since being detained on drug charges in February 2017, De Lima has only seen her mother twice, first on Dec. 23, 2018 during a surprise visit at her detention cell, and last June 16 during the thanksgiving dinner of her son.