Currently detained Senator and administration critic, Leila De Lima, is looking for legal remedies in order to continue her participation in Senate activities.
She issued a statement from her cell at the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police in Camp Crame on Monday, just in time before Congress resumes today after its Holy Week break.
“For more than two months since I was illegally jailed on sham charges, I have refused to allow political persecution and harassment I suffered under the hands of the present administration, prevent me from fulfilling my electoral mandate.”
“I have work to do as a senator and I will continue to do so because I owe it to more than 14 million Filipino people who voted me into office to represent them in the Senate. I hope I can participate in important debates in the Senate,” she said.
As of the moment, De Lima still chairs the Senate Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation Committee and has currently passed bills and resolutions. Eager to still perform as a Senator even behind bars, De Lima cited instances wherein she can still exercise her right to participate in Senate deliberations through remote or electronic means.
She cited two instances wherein legislators were able to exercise their duties as legislators even behind bars.
During the 1950s, former Senator Justiniano Montano was charged with multiple counts of murder but was allowed to post bail in order to perform his legislative duties, while colleague Senator Antonio Trillanes IV was allowed to participate in Senate proceedings via teleconferencing sometime in 2008.
Fellow colleagues and other Liberal Party members had paid her a visit; in particular, by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon.
De Lima is set to participate in the Senate deliberation on the passage of the death penalty bill which will be on the top of the Senate agenda once it resumes session.
De Lima’s party is still aiming to secure a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court for her release. For now, she would have to continue both her legislative duties and her vocal criticism of the administration from behind bars.