MANILA - Detained Senator Leila De Lima has asked a Muntinlupa court for a furlough to attend the graduation rites of her youngest son on June 3.
De Lima has been detained at the police Custodial Center since February 2017 over allegations that she accepted drug money from detained crime lords when she was still justice secretary.
In an urgent motion before the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court branches 205 and 206, De Lima asked for permission to attend the graduation of her son and spend at least 2 hours with her family after the rites.
“[The] Accused begs leave that she be allowed to share this joyous moment with her son and family, and to be there to continue to affirm her support as her son is set to take the bar exams on November 2018 to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a lawyer, taking inspiration from his parents,” read the 4-page motion.
The senator noted that the Supreme Court and Sandiganbayan previously granted furloughs for special occasions and personal matters, like the birthday of the accused and visit to a sick relative.
She cited the case of former Senator Jinggoy Estrada, then detained at the Custodial Center in Camp Crame, whose similar motion to attend the high school graduation of his son was granted by the Sandiganbayan.
“A family member’s graduation is regarded as a milestone event in every Filipino family. To be personally present in such a special occasion is more than a compelling duty on the part of the accused De Lima as a mother,” she added in her petition.
The lawmaker also assured she is not a flight risk and has no intention of fleeing.
It is the third time that De Lima has sought the court’s permission to grant her furlough -- the first was to attend the Senate inquiry on the death of teenager Kian de los Santos but was deemed moot, and the second one was to seek medical check-up last May 10, which was granted.
De Lima, a fierce critic of the administration's anti-narcotics drive, has rejected the drug allegations against her, saying these were politically-motivated.
She is not entitled to bail and, if found guilty, faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
De Lima said her son's graduation from the San Beda College's law school will be held on June 3, from 2 to 7 p.m.